Whether you prefer cookies or caviar, food is a great gift for your party hosts, coworkers, or anyone this holiday season. But before you spend time and money on gifting perishable foods, follow these tips from Londa Nwadike, a food safety specialist for University of Missouri Extension and Kansas State University Research and Extension, who will prevent your food gifts from going to waste:
- If you’re shipping the food, pack it safely, mark it clearly, and be sure to notify the recipient when to expect delivery. Perishable foods will also stay at a safe temperature longer if frozen solid first. So if you choose to freeze it, wait until it’s completely frozen and then pack your food with a cold source such as dry ice or a frozen gel pack.
- If you have a sweet tooth, your fruitcakes, candy, jams, and jellies can be shipped at room temperature and seldom pose health problems, as the sugar and other preservatives usually postpone deterioration. The exception is cheesecake and similar dairy products, which need to stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent spoilage.
- To be safe, always label your perishables with instructions such as “keep refrigerated” to make it easy for the recipient to enjoy your gift as long as possible.
For more tips and tricks on holiday food safety, check out the rest of the article here.More From: Kansas State University, University of Missouri
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