Do you have friends, family or colleagues based over in the states? A food package can be the greatest way to bring the treats of home directly to their front door or office, and thankfully it’s really easy. By following these basic tips, tricks and rules when sending food to the US, you can guarantee a smile on their smile when their parcel arrives filled with their favourite food.
Take a look below:
Sending Food to the US Packaging Tips
Reading time: 7 minutes
Sending Food to the US
The legal stuff: When importing food into the United States it must first come through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be cleared for entry. The United States can be strict on what they do allow over their borders, so it is important customers do their research before sending food to the US.
Important: The FDA also require prior notice of any imports of food into the US, and failure to do so may result in your package being detained or destroyed.
You can view food restrictions here on the official FDA page. As the FDA state: “As a general rule, candies, condiments, spices, coffee and teas that are commercially packaged are generally OK, however bulk teas or spices, etc are subject to inspection and if they are found to have insects, they may be seized and destroyed.”
This basic rule also applies to couriers when sending food. As a general rule:
- Send food in its original manufacturer’s packaging.
- Make sure it is sealed and not tampered with in any way.
- Food label must list all ingredients.
- Foods must have a shelf life of longer than six months from the date of shipping.
- All foods that have a shelf life of less than six months will be classed as perishables, and cannot be sent via courier, even if store bought.
- Send food items that must be kept in a temperature controlled environment in transit (refrigerated, frozen or chilled) as they will spoil by the time they reach their destination.
- Don’t expect your food parcel to be kept ‘this way up’ during transit.
- Don’t send foods that are restricted for import into the destination country.
Sending food abroad? Shipping to the United States?
View our in-depth guide
Packaging your food hamper
To ensure your food items arrive promptly and without any damage, these are some basic and simple packaging rules you can follow:
- Whenever you send a parcel, especially one containing fragile items, it is best to invest in a new double-corrugated cardboard box for the outer packaging.
- Wrap each item individually in bubble-wrap and fill any remaining space left in the box with left-over bubble wrap, newspaper or foam.
- Seal the box with plenty of packaging tape and secure all flaps and seams with multiple layers of tape.
- Clearly display the packaging labels and make sure each item is clearly listed on the shipping invoice. This will avoid your goods being delayed at customs.
Need more information? Click here for our packaging and labeling guidelines.