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Mar 19, 2010 12:18 PM

Venison jerky - safe to send to Afghanistan?

My son is serving in Afghanistan. He would like me to send him some homemade venison jerky but I wonder about the safeness of sending "homemade" jerky versus what I can buy in the store since the homemade does not have all the preservatives store-bought does. I have read differing opinions on this, so I'm just curious if anyone has any opinion on whether I should or should not send some. At this time of year, the heat and the length of time a package can take to arrive is working against me. The last thing in the world I want is for him to get food poisoning from something I send him!

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  1. Have you thought about vacuum sealing? This is a method we use for almost everything and it should work for jerky as well. Just my thoughts.

    1. And adding a couple of those silicate packs to eat oxygen and moisture while you're vacuum sealing. if the jerky is dried appropriately it should survive so long as it doesn't get wet. Double seal the vacuum bag.

      5 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti

        Thanks for the replies - it means a lot to me to try to give him what he wants! Wattacetti, I take it you mean to add the silicate packs in the same vacuum package as the jerky? I have tried vaccum sealing before - it is probably the best method but I have found some of the ends of the jerky poke through the plastic and then the package unseals. Maybe I need to be more careful sealing.

        1. re: Susan627

          It's not hot in Afghanistan-the climate is similar to the northern USA. Not what you think for the middle east - it is mountainous! Just send it - it takes about a week to get there. I send something there at least once a month to a collegue that has been deployed there. Bless your son! Also, the best bet it so send it flat....when you send to a miliary base, it is domestic postage, not international....

          1. re: momskitchen

            I meant to type send it flat rate....but if you pack it flat, you can fit more in the box or envelope.

            1. re: momskitchen

              I figured that was what you meant - thanks! Amazing what one of those boxes will hold.

          2. re: Susan627

            If you're using something like a FoodSaver and make your own bags, you seal the first end twice (about 1/4 inch apart), then make the length of bag you need for the jerky. Once you fill the jerky in the bag, toss in a couple of those dessicant bags, and then double seal like you did the other side.

            Do the first seam close to the contents, and then the second seam a bit further off (1/4 inch minimum but can be any length).

            It shouldn't unseal when you do this, especially when you check the seals.

            Momskitchen is also correct - try and seal flat as that'll make shipment go more easily. I also suggest you seal multiple packs, because, well, you're his mom and he'll appreciate it.

        2. Hi! I just came across your post about sending homemade jerky to your son in Afghanistan and was wondering how that worked out for you since my husband is getting ready to deploy and I would love to send him our homade jerky!

          Thank you,

          1 Reply
          1. re: jesseandgina

            Hi Gina. I did send jerky. As I recall I used the food-saver on it but it didn't create an air-tight seal as the jerky poked through. I got a little leery of sending stuff once the warm weather started and I don't think I sent any after May or so and then started again in the fall. Packages didn't take that long to get there but if he was out on patrol when the package arrived, it could be a 3 week turn-around, minimum. I sent homemade granola bars which he reported just lumped together (no matter how carefully I packed them) and also cookies that people made didn't fare too well, even though they were packed carefully. In the end, I found just buying his favorite pre-packaged stuff was the easiest and survived the shipping the best. God bless your husband and you and please thank him for his service.