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IMBC and shipping

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Was asked and just making sure.......an IMBC cake could not be shipped, right? Just want to be able to tell her. I don't even know how. Thank you.
post #2 of 15
Shipping cakes falls under FDA guidelines when you cross state lines. The kitchen involved needs an FDA license. But, if you are licensed, you can ship perishables. They ship lobsters.

On the FDA sites, you will find the guidelines for shipping. They are rather intense. That is why places charge shipping fees of $25.00 and up for these items.

Basically you must have a fail-proof way to insure that the item never reaches the minimum temps even on the hottest days and with delays. If it does not meet these standards, the client must have specific instructions on how the item should arrive and what is not safe. If it doesn't arrive safe, you have to refund or send it again.

Even if this is for a family member, please be sure to consult the FDA site to make sure the item is safe.

It's not the best project for someone who doesn't do it all the time. The expense of just the trial runs while developing the safety methods is more than a casual baker would want to incur.

FDA does not accept any kitchen other than a fully licensed separate commercial kitchen. The state Dept of Ag has the information.
post #3 of 15
Plus, even without the complications of the food laws, I can't imagine a cake iced in IMBC making it in one piece to where it's going. The person who opened the box would have a nice box of sticky crumbs to deal with. It would have to be shipped totally frozen to start with and stay pretty solid in transit.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That's what I thought too.
post #5 of 15
That's right costumeczar. The FDA only cares about safety. Basically it must never reach a temp over about 39 degrees, just like in our refrigerators. But 39 degrees would be a big frosting mess.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

That's right costumeczar. The FDA only cares about safety. Basically it must never reach a temp over about 39 degrees, just like in our refrigerators. But 39 degrees would be a big frosting mess.



Based on how UPS and the post office handles my "fragile" packages, it would either be frozen and in a million pieces, or room temperature and in a million pieces.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, thank you for your time. I am going to check it out for myself after all. There seems to be some misinformation regarding this. Can you tell me where to find this info right from the FDA? So I can have something solid?
post #8 of 15
When I need official information, I google the question and go down the search entries until I see one from fda, .gov, egg board, dairy board, .edu, irs.gov, etc. This tells me that it is an official site. Many of the search results in any subject are just opinions. But unless you look closely, you won't know if your information is official or scientifically correct. This is especially important in food safety issues. If you can't find it, it may have been in my FDA application. You can get this information from the Dept of Ag in your state. Even if you never want an FDA kitchen, there is a wealth of information that is available.

Don't get discouraged. This can be done. My "bakery neighbor" at my other house on MD's Eastern Shore is nationally recognized for her cakes and shipping is her main form of sales. Her cakes were featured in the movie, The Help, and on numerous national TV shows.

http://www.carolinescakes.com/

But it is difficult and expensive if you don't purchase the supplies in bulk and have this as a normal business operation.
post #9 of 15
You're probably looking at $100+ in shipping and packaging costs alone. A good test to see if your packaging will work (aside from actually shipping it to a friend or relative a similar distance away) is to bake a test cake, package it up, and leave the box outside in your backyard in full sun for however long it will be in transit for. Then pick up the box and throw it a few times. If it survives you are in good shape.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You're probably looking at $100+ in shipping and packaging costs alone. A good test to see if your packaging will work (aside from actually shipping it to a friend or relative a similar distance away) is to bake a test cake, package it up, and leave the box outside in your backyard in full sun for however long it will be in transit for. Then pick up the box and throw it a few times. If it survives you are in good shape.



Hahahahaha! I don't know if you're being facetious, but you're totally right. When I take packages to the post office now I don't even bother writing fragile on them. The first thing they always do is pitch them overhand into the bin behind them regardless of whether I tell them they're fragile or not.
post #11 of 15
I was being 100% serious...we did this test with our cakes, and it was a no-go unless we stuck to next-day shipping, which would price it out of our target market.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You're probably looking at $100+ in shipping and packaging costs alone. A good test to see if your packaging will work (aside from actually shipping it to a friend or relative a similar distance away) is to bake a test cake, package it up, and leave the box outside in your backyard in full sun for however long it will be in transit for. Then pick up the box and throw it a few times. If it survives you are in good shape.


Yes, I tried to ship a special cake once, and that's a pretty good description of how it looked when it got there, and how much it cost.
post #13 of 15
Caroline's has tins for the cakes. I'm convinced that if I go this route, she has the right idea.

Jason, your idea of setting the package out sure beats the cost of shipping cakes to my daughter until I get it right. They must stay below that magic 39, 42? I forgot the number.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
scp1127 "When I need official information, I google the question and go down the search entries until I see one from fda, .gov, egg board, dairy board, .edu, irs.gov, etc. This tells me that it is an official site. Many of the search results in any subject are just opinions."
Great idea. Thank you! And yes if this will be done regularly it may be possible. Thanks.
Jason Kraft......like your test run. hahaha
post #15 of 15
So, this is my compensation for not being able to find decent powdered sugar in Taiwan? The other day I shipped a cake, refrigerated truck, 8" buttercream with fondant figures on top to a a town on the other side of the island (across mountainous terrain), next day delivery for about $8 -- packaging included! I had the cake in a cake box without the fondant pieces on top, which I wrapped in paper towels and put in another small box, filled the empty spaces with newspaper, taped it up, and took it to 7-11 to mail. It got there in one piece with no problems at all. But, really, I wouldn't want to try and ship a cake that wasn't on a refrigerated truck. Too many headaches!
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