Shipping fresh tomatoes thru the mail...

gman68558(z10 So Cal)September 18, 2008

Is it legal?

I have a couple of friends out of the area that would love to try some of the tomatoes I've been bragging about, so I would like to fill a couple of flat rate boxes with partially ripe ones and send them out. I'm just wondering if there are any regulations that would prohibit it.

I've been googling up a storm but so far have not come up with a definitive answer.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Depends on how you ship them. The shipper - UPS, USPS, FedEx - can provide the needed forms for whatever state you are shipping to. Getting any produce INTO CA, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, AZ or Florida is a real pain. Getting produce out of CA is likely easier. ;)

USDA website provides all the interstate agricultural shipping regs., USDT covers all the transportation regs, and FSIS covers all the labeling requirements.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 5:03PM
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Going out of California you won't have any problems. The crush proof box with individual dividers (like X-MAS balls) to protect the tomatoes will be the biggest concern. It also depends on delivery type; Overnight (very expensive), next day, 2 day, 3 day,& ground. Distance will determine too... but for the lucky person(s) receiving a wonder tomato care package, is AWESOME.

You can also check with internet companies that do ship fruit/vegetable produce for tips too. ie - chocolate covered strawberries, fruit baskets, etc.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 5:34PM
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vegomatic(z5 BHSD)

Our postal clerk asks if anything's perishable. Might be an extra charge, needs external markings if so, or something.

We shipped some potatoes, he didn't ask that time, so I didn't volunteer. 4 boxes to Arizona, West Virgina and Wyoming all arrived just fine, but one box sat outside over the weekend at a seldom checked entrance. Tomatoes might not have survived as well as the potatoes did. It might be a good idea to alert the recipient so they can watch for a delivery.

I'd put them in ziplock bags, individually if they're of any size. That way, if one should take an impact and split or get a bit soft, it won't leak and risk the delivery service dumping the entire box and also won't be a mess for your friend to find.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:07PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I haven't shipped tomatoes in a long while but some wonderful tomato friends have shipped to me in the past and of late and most recently, within the past month I've received some from KY and expect some today from W NYS and in the past I've received several shipments from Friends in FL and elsewhere.

First, ALWAYS ship them on Monday or Tuesday, never later depending on how you're shipping them b'c they could end up in the UPS or USPS or Fedex wharehouse over the weekend.

Ship only half ripe fruits.

Wrap each fruit in bubble wrap and then put it in a ziploc bag. Tape the variety ID to the bubble wrap and/or the baggie.

Crumple up newspaper or whatever in the box so that no movement of fruits can occur. I have one friend who tapes the baggies to the inside of the box with duct tape to retard movement. And she duct tapes the box so well that I have to plan on a good half hour to get it open, I kid yoou not. LOL

Over night shipment with any carrier is horrendously expensive. Seond or third day works out just fine as long as you ship only half ripe fruits.

Delivery with USPS and Fedex and UPS has been fine but remember that if shipping to an area where it's much colder than where you are that USPS carriers are heated and UPS is not. I can't remember about heat and Fedex, either home or ground delivery, but if you chose them, just ask.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:40AM
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