Taking frozen food on airplane

Old Aug 15th, 2001, 02:41 PM
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Taking frozen food on airplane

My family is all gathering at Christmas in a chalet.. We would like to take a few frozen items with us, to share with our daughter who is living abroad, who really misses the good ol'USA. Has anyone done this? Is it possible to do and what kind of clearance do you need from customs etc.? Thank you
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 02:45 PM
Jean Valjean
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Depends a lot on what you are taking, the way you pack it, and the duration of your flight(s).

My parents managed to do something like that with a meat dish. They froze it for a couple of days(freezer at max), packed it in a plastic container and multiple paper bags. It arrived (18 hours later), just ready to heat and serve.
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 03:23 PM
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You don't say where you live. If the town is decent-sized, you may be able to find someplace that will pack frozen food for shipping. They put it in a styrofoam container and wrap it special. It costs a little bit, but is worth it because the food is still frozen for about 24 hours. Try calling meat or seafood supply houses.
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 03:31 PM
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Dry ice is, I believe, a prohibited item on commercial aircraft. Check with your airline.

In calculating how long that food going to need to stay cold so it doesn't cause health problems, be sure and take into account how early you'll need to get to the airport, the flight, time to exit baggage, customs and immigration, find transport, etc., as well as the trip to the final destination.

Mr. Murphy's law suggests you ought to add a bit of a fudge factor in there for the inevitable small glitch at least.

From the midwest, we'd have to plan on about 20 hours or so, plus a fudge factor. Much shorter time from the NYC area, for example.

Old Aug 15th, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Thanks, we will be traveling from nyc to vienna. Are there any customs issues that I should be concerned about, approval ahead of time to eliminate any problems? Thanks
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 03:05 AM
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Flying from New York, you won't have any problem. My suggestion is to pack it in your checked luggage... it sure won't thaw out there. Before they had decent turkeys here we (or friends) would bring a frozen turkey from the States every year so I could prepare Thanksgiving dinner for twenty or so people. Always arrived here hard as a rock.

There shouldn't be any customs problems.

Old Aug 16th, 2001, 05:21 AM
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If you pack it yourself, use some of that "blue ice" available for coolers and camping. Put the food in a styrofoam cooler, surrounded by the blue ice, and then wrap the whole thing in duct tape (to make it strong enough to sustain some tossing around without splitting, since styrofoam breaks up pretty easily). You'll be surprised how long it'll last.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 11:23 AM
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Is everyone sure that there's not customs problems taking frozen food into Austria? I don't know that answer but would want to hear from someone who is sure. It'd be a shame to jump through all those hoops only to have the food confiscated on arrival.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 11:32 AM
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Almost assuredly there are some customs requirements. Contact the Austrian embassy to find out what those restrictions are before you go. (I did a quick web search but was not able to find anything.) Or there may be something in a good travel guide. You're right, better to be safe than sorry.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 11:37 AM
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I'm not clear on what you want to take. Do you mean food you have prepared and frozen? If that's the case you most certainly will not be allowed to take it.

If you mean commercialy frozen foods - why don't you have it shipped instead of taking it yourself. You will have limited baggage allowance and the extra packing required will really cut into that. But you can have commercial foodstuffs shipped into may countries.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 11:40 AM
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Glancing over their custom tips book, I do not see anything prohibiting food items used for personal consumption. However, you might want to go to http://www.bmf.gv.at/ministerium/min...b/zi2001en.pdf
and read it in more detail. Hope this helps.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 03:37 PM
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Suzanne...as an airline employee, I can tell you that "yes" you can bring dry ice on a board as checked luggage only, HOWEVER, you must limit the amount/check with yoru airline on the exact amount/you must declare it to the ticket agent/sky cap and you must pay extra for the special handling involved. It must be packaged very carefully. It is considered a "dangerous good" please,do not try and "sneak" it onboard, the consequences can be catistrophic.

I strongly suggest contacting no only customs but your airline as well.If you decide to bring on "blue ice" I also suggest declaring that to the agent. If you bag is found leaking,
even, if it's just water, it will be taken of the aircraft immediately.

Hope this helps, B

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