For anyone who wants to cook up a good meal and send it to one of their loved ones across the country, the task of mailing it might be a little harder than you might think. If you are someone who likes sending or receiving food from other parts of the country, you probably already know the requirements that one needs to adhere to aptly send them in. UPS, for example, is one company that places strict restrictions on those who want to send or receive food items. It is mandated that the person use some cooling agent to prevent the food from getting spoiled while they are in transit. Even is the item that you are sending is going to be in transit for only a day, you still need to protect it with some form of coolant, and to prevent any unfortunate events from taking place.
Dry Ice Vs. Gel Packs
Dry ice is something that shipping companies and food manufacturers tend to use when they are trying to send something that is a considerable distance away. Dry ice is considered to a slightly hazardous substance, which is why its use is prohibited for foods that are being transported by air. On the other hand, things that are being delivered by road or rail can use dry ice, if of course the necessary precautions are all taken.
Gel packs are another item that can be used to prevent perishable good from going bad and to ensure the item reaches the other person safely. Gel packs are the preferred option for those whose products are going to be in transit for a long time since they can last for a couple of days before becoming useless. However, these might not be as effective as the dry ice option would be,
Choosing Your Coolant
The effectiveness of your cooling depends on the number of days that the food is staying in transit. It is important to note what temperature the food needs to be stored at. If it needs to be something that is below freezing point, dry ice is your option that will prevent your food from going bad. If the food is going to be in transit for longer, the dry ice is more likely to melt, thereby making gel packs the preferred option. If your food can survive in around 32 - 35°F, then gel packs can work well and do the job.
Packing Your Food
The way you pack your food goes a long way into maintaining its freshness and preventing it from going bad. One of the best ways to pack your perishable food to send it over to someone is using a styrofoam box. Layer the bottom of the shipping boxes with dry ice or the gel packets, depending on what you choose. Once you have filled the bottom of the box, place your food on top of the coolant. Make sure your food is in sealed packets or boxes, to prevent it from opening up and spilling out when it is being delivered. Once all your items are in the box, you can lay out another layer of coolant on top of the food. Close the lid of the box and seal it with duct tape. This will prevent any air from entering into the shipping boxes, thereby keeping your dry ice or gel packets colder for longer.