How to Ship Food with USPS | ShippingEasy

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year to send perishable treats to your friends and family. the only problem is trying to figure out the best way to ship them to make sure your goodies are delivered on time and undamaged. we have good news! With USPS, some perishable items can be shipped, as long as you take special precautions with your shipment.

For more information on liquid shipping, check out our blog.

what is perishable mail?

USPS considers perishable mail to be “anything that may deteriorate in the mail and thereby lose value… under normal shipping conditions.” It’s important to know that USPS also considers perishable mail to be shipped at the sender’s own risk. that’s why it’s crucial to know the guidelines for this specific class of mail.

perishable mail guidelines

First of all, anything that can go bad quickly can’t be mailed, including fresh fruits and vegetables. however, dried fruits and vegetables are all the rage! Items like eggs and meat can only be shipped domestically and there are special requirements for shipping both. With cookies and other commonly seen holiday treats, making sure they are delivered without any unnecessary delays or adjustments is very important. Let’s dive into more information on how some of these items should be shipped.

Learn more about shipping specialty items with our shipping 201 blog!

how to send eggs

As we mentioned earlier, eggs can only be shipped domestically. each egg must have its own secure padding, and the entire shipment must be packaged in a manner that allows the eggs to withstand any shifting or movement during transit. It is also very important that the eggs are packed in such a way that they are not affected by changes in temperature. anything perishable should also be marked as perishable.

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how to ship meats

Shipping meat can be a bit tricky, but as long as you follow USPS guidelines, you’ll be good to go. Only meats in accordance with USDA regulations can be shipped domestically through USPS. if the meat is shipped with dry ice, there are dry ice specifications to be aware of. Here’s a little more information on USPS dry ice packaging:

“Dry ice is permitted to be mailed when used as a refrigerant to cool the contents of a hazardous or non-hazardous material being mailed. packages containing dry ice must be packed in containers that allow the release of carbon dioxide gas and comply with 49 cfr 173.217 and 175.10(a)(10). postal items containing dry ice are subject to the following conditions, as applicable:

  1. international mail. dry ice is prohibited.
  2. domestic mail via air freight. dry ice is allowed in amounts up to 5 pounds per mailpiece. postal items containing dry ice are subject to the conditions of packing instruction 9a of appendix c, as applicable.
  3. domestic ground mail. a letter sent by ground transportation can contain more than 5 pounds of dry ice. the preparation of the correspondence is subject to the conditions of packing instruction 9a of appendix c.

note: a postal item prepared for ground transportation must not, under any circumstances, be sent to through air transport.”

As with eggs, meats must be marked perishable on the package for USPS to handle them properly. For more information on shipping perishable items and other unique products, check out this USPS Mail Shipping Guide.

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Learn more about dry ice in our blog on shipping ice cream.

other foods

When it comes to crackers, dried fruits and vegetables, and other items, there aren’t as many packaging requirements, but the USPS still has some recommendations including:

  • double check your baked goods to make sure they are not undercooked or need additional cooking.
  • including labels on the inside and outside of the package. This way, if the outer packaging is damaged, the recipient will know these gifts are from you!
  • choose containers that are not too small to prevent rips or tears or that are not too large to prevent your treats from being thrown out during transport.

For more USPS tips and tricks on shipping baked goods and other non-perishable foods, check out their blog.

If you can’t be with your loved ones during the holiday season, sending each other greeting cards and care packages with your favorite holiday snacks and treats can be a great option. Whether it’s the meat for your holiday celebration dinner or the cookies to snack on during your favorite holiday movie, it’s important to pack and ship these foods carefully and within USPS guidelines. The USPS Retail Postage Price Calculator is also a great resource for estimating those costs in advance. eggs and meat have more particular requirements, but their non-perishable snacks also need special packaging. Keep your vacation tasty by marking perishables as perishable, reviewing what can and cannot be shipped, and packing your products within all USPS guidelines and recommendations. seasonal meals!

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To learn more about shipping food from one of our food vendors, check out our cornucopia popcorn case study.

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