Good news, you just received a gift box of cookies. Bad news, the cookies were just a pile of crumbs. For many people, the holidays mean sending special gift baskets or boxes from the kitchen to friends and family far-away. If you are going to spend the time and money baking something special, spend some time to make sure it gets to the destination in reasonably good condition and safe to consume. Here are some tips to help keep the baked items in good condition for its arrival at the destination.
- Some foods are less perishable than others and are more easily shipped. Typically items like cookies, candy, raw vegetables, fruits, breads, meat jerky, jams, uncooked pasta and unopened canned goods will be reasonable to ship.
- It is recommended to NOT ship perishable foods unless absolutely necessary. Highly perishable items such as meats, fish, cooked vegetables, dairy products and eggs are perishable foods and should not be above 40 degrees for more than a couple hours. These perishable foods would need to be packed in dry ice, check with you carrier for special shipping instructions.
- Foods should be wrapped airtight before being gift wrapped. When sending multiple food items, each one should be wrapped separately to keep it moist but also to keep from mixing the flavors.
- Any glass or breakable containers should be placed within a sealed Ziploc bag just incase the bottle gets broken.
- Keep breads, cakes and other fragile items in rigid containers with little room for movement to help protect their shape. Disposable foil tins can help save those cookies and cakes during shipment.
- Use a rigid cardboard box as the shipping container. Use a new box if possible, especially for heavier contents. The box should be in good condition without holes, tears or damaged areas. There are box manufactures but for people with just a few packages to send, check office supply stores.
- When packing the separate items in the box, use crumpled newspaper or Kraft (brown) paper to keep the items separated by 2-3 inches from each other and from the box sides. If sending a basket, use a couple layers of bubble wrap around the basket and taped to keep it secure.
- Remove any pre-existing labels and other markings from previous shipments. Once the top of the box is closed, the contents should not “rattle” when shaken. As with all packages being shipped, clearly print the address on the box and cover with clear packaging tape.