How do I mail ice cream?
April 1, 2006 3:15 PM   Subscribe

How do I mail ice cream from one of the 48 continental states to another? I'm unclear on either the logistics, best packaging/cooling technique, or any regulations.

To clarify: this would be a small amount for non-commercial use. I.e. I'd be sending some locally famous ice cream to a friend. Package will probably arrive at the institution's local mail center where I'm guessing it might sit for up to 1 day before pickup.

Are there laws about the transport of food products via the USPS? Via private courier companies? Laws about packaging the food products? Labeling as perishable? Any other nonsense?

Also, how likely am I to end up in a naked pyramid in some middle-eastern country if I insulate the ice cream in a big styrofoam carton, and keep cool with dry ice? Is the package now "contents under pressure?" Would say, UPS or Fedex charge me for hazmat handling?
posted by NucleophilicAttack to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's a little information about sending dry ice.
posted by interrobang at 3:22 PM on April 1, 2006

I know from experience (shipping meat) that Purolator in Canada is happy to ship a parcel containing dry ice, so long as is it isn't actively smoking or dripping or anything.

I realize that USPS is a very competent handler of mail, but are you mad? Use a courier, for the speed and the reliability.

Last of all, call the creamery and ask how they ship samples. They might even be able to take care of the arrangements for you.
posted by chudmonkey at 3:26 PM on April 1, 2006

I get frozen mice for my snake shipped to me here in NYC from a place in texas. They just use a cardboard box with all sides lined with the blue insulation board foam stuff you can get at any of the home improvement stores, with dry ice on top of that. Then they send them over night FexEx which is expensive but still cheaper for me then going to one of the chain pet stores.

Also wish I had a friend who would mail me ice cream!
posted by Captain_Science at 4:01 PM on April 1, 2006

Depending on the creamery, they may have a plan set up.

My locally famous place, Kopps does have a way to pack and ship it, so if nothing else, call and ask them for advice.
posted by anjamu at 4:12 PM on April 1, 2006

The Penn State Creamery also ships ice cream. I've driven from here to Philly with a couple half gallons packed in dry ice, but I have never shipped any though.
posted by Fat Guy at 4:29 PM on April 1, 2006

I was just about to post about the Creamery here, but Fat Guy beat me to it.

Did I mention how delicious that ice cream is when the weather is nice, like it was this week?
posted by Loto at 4:52 PM on April 1, 2006

(mmm, Kopps - always a good reason to be in Milwaukee)
posted by bibbit at 6:02 PM on April 1, 2006

I shipped a snowball from the east coast to California last Christmas (packed in dry ice). I used UPS and was successful apart from thinking about how silly the expense of expedited shipping and dry ice was for sending frozen water.

Also adding to the ice cream shipping links, Ben and Jerry's has "Ice Cream by Mail."
posted by superfem at 6:03 PM on April 1, 2006

I know that USPS regulations for perishables pretty much just requires that it doesn't leak. Good packing and dry ice should ensure that.
posted by qwip at 12:14 AM on April 2, 2006

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