Food gift items are a popular choice, especially around the festive season. They just seem more heartwarming and personal. However, they also entail more risks than other gift options. The risk of food poisoning or other contamination can be quite high so it pays to find out the details of how the item has been packaged and shipped before eating anything. Here are a few details you need to verify to improve the chances your delivery will arrive in a good and safe condition for you to consume.
Perishable food gift items should always be kept at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The food itself should be wrapped in foam or other insulating material with a cold pack or dry ice before being placed in sturdy gift boxes. The gift box itself should ideally also be made of heavy-duty cardboard that can ably support the weight and will not easily disintegrate if exposed to moisture.
Ship at The Beginning of the Week
Even though many shippers may claim they work 24/7, it is risky to attempt shipping at the end of the week. Check the date the package was sent out for delivery. You may find that those sent towards the end of the week have sat at the shipper’s warehouse through the weekend. More than next-day delivery on some perishable food items can be dangerous.
Same or Next Day Delivery
Expedited delivery is a must when sending out food gift items. Especially if they are of the easily perishable variety like meats, soft cheeses, and fruit. The package should have been delivered within a day of being sent out. Any cold packaging will have a limit as to how long it can hold. Any longer and the contents will warm up and become unsafe to eat.
Ensure Appropriate Labeling
The seller should invest in a custom gift box that clearly indicates that the contents are perishable and should be kept refrigerated. They should have clear labeling that provides this information to the shipper so they know how to facilitate delivery.
Most dry and hard baked goods can safely last a few days in transit. But do check the ingredients that have been used. Some are more delicate and perishable, like cream cheese and custard. These can easily form mold and spoil the entire contents. The seller should ideally provide a list of ingredients in the packaging also as a safety measure for those with allergies.