Sending Perishables

Nothing lasts forever, especially food. Perishables are a great thing in the holiday season or during the height of the harvest season. We all want to send things to those we love, but there are some rules that you must observe first. Read on to see what to do...

Perishables, The Mail & You

These are only acceptable if the contents can reach their destination in normal transit time and still be good upon delivery. These require special containers to keep the contents safe and completely contained. These can include foods as well as animals. Typical Packaging must be more robust and have air holes where applicable. Some foods such as fruits and vegetables are not allowed due their ability to spread insect pests and unwanted plant strains. Some animals which would otherwise be allowed in the mail are not if it is discovered they are intended to be used in an animal fighting venture. All packages which contain live animals must have a return address in the event they cannot be delivered.

What may be sent:

  • Food that will not generate obnoxious odor or decay rapidly
  • Dried fruits and vegetables
  • Day-old poultry (chicks) not vaccinated with Newcastle disease
  • Small harmless Cold-Blooded Animals (except snakes and turtles) that require no food or water(these must not create odor or sanitary problems)
  • Adult disease-free fowl weighing more than 6 ounces sent in secure container via Express Mail®
  • Disease-free Live bees (must meet state and federal regulations)
  • Live non-poisonous, non disease carrying insects (must follow Dept. of Agriculture standards)
  • Live scorpions (packaging must be clearly labeled to indicate contents and specially packaged to prevent escape, only to be used in medical research)
  • Fresh game, dead wild animals or parts (only if lawfully killed)
  • Furs, skins, hides, pelts
  • (when properly cured and without an offensive odor and abiding by state laws. The parcel must be clearly marked with the name and address of both its sender and receiver)
  • Plants (legally acquired plants, not in violation of the Plant Quarantine Act, and not under USDA quarantine)