Food can be sent safely as a gift in the mail if carefully chosen, well packaged and delivered in a timely manner. Here are some tips:
• If sending a cake, do not frost before mailing. Instead, include a package of dry frosting mix or commercially canned frosting.
• Make sure that perishable food items can stay at or below 40 degrees while in transit. Use insulated packaging material if necessary.
• To ship, center the gift in the middle of a box and add a layer of packing material around it. Then overfill the box with cushioning material, making sure there’s no air space left in the box.
• If packaging a cake, use a container that is only slightly larger than the cake.
• If packaging cookies in a gift container, wrap flat cookies in pairs with waxed paper between them and foil or plastic wrap around them. For cookies that are not flat, wrap individually. Put crumpled wax paper or padding in the bottom of the container to cushion cookies.
• Bar cookies and brownies are best packed uncut in the baking pan or a box the size of the baking pan.
• Jars and bottles can be shipped within the U.S., but the Postal Service requires that they have screw tops or locking lid devices. Use plenty of absorbent packing material in case the jars break or leak.
Source: College of Family and Consumer Science, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences