If your restaurant is offering shipping services for certain foods, you may find yourself looking at options to ensure that it gets there fresh and safe. One of the safest ways to pack perishables is with dry ice. The dry ice doesn’t melt the way that traditional ice does, so you don’t have the risk of melting that will lead to water saturation and a potentially ruined product. Just remember that you’ll have to follow the federal regulations and mark the package as containing a hazardous material.
- Choose the Right Container – select a shipping container that’s designed specifically for dry ice shipping. These containers feature an inner layer of foam, which provides insulation. The outer surface of the container will be crafted from a heavy, durable material. These boxes have vents built in to prevent the package from exploding due to the buildup of gas when the dry ice starts to convert back into gas form. Most containers designed for dry ice shipping even come with the labels you’ll need for proper shipping.
- Buying the Dry Ice – Place the dry ice order with your supplier as close to the shipping date as possible. That way, you have the longest possible lifespan from the dry ice. Make sure you buy enough dry ice to protect all of the food for the full expected shipping period. Up to ten pounds of dry ice can return to its complete gaseous state within 24 hours. It’s best to consult a dry ice shipping chart to ensure that you have enough dry ice to get your product where it needs to be safely.
- Packing the Food – Pack the food and the dry ice according to the shipping container’s instructions. In most cases, you can place a layer of dry ice in the bottom of the container, then the wrapped and sealed food followed by a final layer of dry ice. Then, you’ll need to place the dry ice labels on the container. Then, write the weight of the dry ice inside on the label. Always wear protective gloves when handling dry ice – it can cause frostbite and other serious damage to your skin.
- Shipping the Food – You can typically ship the package through whichever carrier you choose provided that it’s been properly packed and labeled. If you’re unsure, call the carrier you typically use for your business shipments and ask them if they handle dry ice shipments.
With the right preparation and understanding, you can ship foods virtually anywhere without worry about them spoiling along the way. If you want more help, talk with a local dry ice supplier, like Chilly Willy & Cool Carl’s Ice, about how to get the ice and safe storage techniques.