Packing And Shipping Cold Food Items For Your Business
If your food business has been going well and you want to ship cold or frozen food to other parts of the country, then you need to know how to pack and prepare these items. Some shipping companies may have special requirements on how you can package food for shipping. It's important to not only choose the right external packaging supplies, such as containers, but also the internal materials.
Choosing a shipping container
Whatever shipping company you use, you must choose a container which can stand up to abuse. Assume your package is going to be tossed around and may have to support the weight of another box or container on its top. If you're shipping something that must stay cool or frozen, then Styrofoam boxes may be an answer. These boxes insulate well and may reduce the need for multiple cool gel packs or dry ice. They come in a variety of thicknesses and styles.
Wrapping and insulating
While a good container is essential, it's also important to wrap and insulate your food properly. This is especially true if you're using wet ice or transporting frozen foods which may melt a little in transport. With those types of foods, line your container with a watertight bag of at least two mil. Double-bag any ice and seafood and place absorbent pads near the bottom of your container to absorb any possible leakage. You should wrap and insulate foods in breakable containers with bubble wrap and surround them by bags of puffed air. Make sure there are no gaps which allow movement between the items.
Keeping things cool
You will need cold gel packs or dry ice to maintain a cool temperature during transit. The pros of using cold gel packs is that they are not considered hazardous material, so you aren't restricted on how to use them, and you don't need any special training or handling. They also don't freeze the food like dry ice could. The downside is that they can melt and create a wet mess if you don't pack them right. Dry ice is great at keeping things cool without the hazard of leaking liquids. However, you can only use a certain amount at a time if you are shipping by air, plus they don't stay cool as long as cool gel packs.
If you're expanding your food business, then it's important to have the right kinds of packing materials on hand to ship your food so it is fresh when it arrives at the customer's location. Check with the shipping company to see what their exact specifications are when it comes to shipping perishables, especially those that need to stay cool. Then, when you're ready, stock up on your supplies so you can be ready when those big orders come in.