Can You Send Food in the Post ?


There are many reasons for people sending food in the post. Some may want a taste of home comforts, while others may want to consume foods from other countries that are not available in the country they live in. Either way, sending food in the post with us is simple, but there are some legislations you should be aware of. Sending food abroad doesn't have to be confusing - but keeping on top of need-to-know information is key.



Prohibited and Restricted Lists


There are a number of items that are prohibited or restricted from being sent in the post, including some foods. Therefore, you should check what it is you're sending and whether it breaches any postal legislation before booking a food courier.

If the recipient is also in the UK, you're free to send most food items in the post, except for wet foods and perishable goods, but drinks - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic - are not allowed to be sent with us as we do not carry liquids across our network.

If you're sending items to somebody overseas, it’s likely there are even more restrictions to be aware of, as some items will not be allowed due to agricultural, cultural or even religious reasons. Be sure to check the page of the destination country to see what isn’t allowed through customs.

See our UK Prohibited Items and International Prohibited Items information before booking your parcel.



How to Package Your Parcel – inside and out


Always keep foods in their original packaging to avoid any confusion; this is especially important for sending food abroad, as your parcel will be making its way through some rather thorough customs checks on its journey. Removing manufacturers' packaging can make this clearance process more difficult to determine the contents, so keep it wherever possible.

It’s important to protect your items properly, so avoid only wrapping food in paper and instead opt for a sturdy and roomy box. Then, once all your items are inside, fill any gaps with newspaper, filling chips or other packaging materials to keep internal movement to a minimum. This should help to ensure your food makes it through its journey intact.



Perishable goods


As a food courier, we do not ship perishable goods through our network; this is for both within the UK and Internationally.

To clarify, ‘perishable goods’ refers to anything that can spoil or go off during transit, so this means fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products are on our list of UK Prohibited Items and International Prohibited Items. We suggest making sure your items have a shelf life of at least six months from the time of posting to not be classed as perishable goods. 



Shop bought food


Sending food abroad that was bought from a store or shop has advantages, as its packaging and labelling usually comply with the regulations for both sending in the UK and most International destinations (aside from those foods on restricted and prohibited lists for each specific country).

Here’s a checklist of what you need to make sure of before sending that special someone their favourite snacks:

  • Food should have a shelf life of six months or longer from the date of sending
  • Food should be in the original manufacturers wrapping and packaging
  • Food labels must list all ingredients
  • Packaging on the food must be sealed and not show any signs of being opened or tampered with



How to send food items in the post – dos and don’ts


There are a number of key dos and don’ts when it comes to sending food in the post, regarding packaging and important information about the destination location.

Take a look at our dos and don’ts before sending food abroad:


  • Package your items well; your parcel needs to be able to withstand being turned upside down during transit so wrap all items individually and use void-fill packaging to prevent movement and to protect them.
  • Expect your parcel to be inspected by customs authorities – and ensure all food items have a label clearly showing all the ingredients and the use-by date so they can check it’s OK to clear customs.


  • Send food items that are restricted or prohibited in the UK or for importing into the destination country.
  • Scrimp on internal packaging or the outer box; markings such as ‘fragile’ and ‘this way up’ can’t be read by sorting machines.
  • Send items that need to be kept at a certain temperature (frozen, chilled or refrigerated), as there is no control over the temperature and environment during shipping.



Sending Homemade Food in the Post


Sending food made at home in the post made at home is a bit more of an issue – but there are many ways that you can have a similar impact without facing these sending food abroad issues. 

These include:

  • Sending the recipes for those homemade goodies – and include any shop-bought items and utensils that will help your loved ones make them in their own kitchen.
  • If you’re not quite up to writing recipes, send a shop-bought packet of their favourite cake mix instead.
  • Send shop-bought items like chocolates, sweets or crisps that will remind them of home.



  • Remember that some countries may not allow certain foods to be imported, so take care to check that the items (and ingredients in the items) are not restricted or prohibited for import where they're being sent.
  • Don’t ‘chance it’ in the hope that your homemade goods can be passed off as shop-bought; you could be fined.



Sending food hampers


Food hampers at Christmas, or any time of year that’s special, can be a wonderful gift to receive when you’re missing someone who’s away from home.

Just remember that you need to make a few considerations when bundling up those festive goodies; don’t send alcohol, anything flammable or any liquids – they’re prohibited items and can’t be sent by courier. And if sending overseas, check each item’s ingredients and make sure they’re not restricted or prohibited items in the destination country.

Sending Food in the Post in a Hamper


Step 1


Firstly, check that everything in the hamper is allowed into the destination country – remember that some countries have very strict regulations for import, so make sure you investigate this before sending. See our UK Prohibited Items and International Prohibited Items information before booking your parcel – and check each individual country restricted and prohibited items list too.


Step 2


Package everything properly and with care; make sure all the items in the hamper are cushioned and snug before wrapping the hamper in protective packaging (such as bubble wrap) to protect it – and then put the hamper in an external box for transit. Don’t gift wrap the hamper; not only will it not be adequate protection, it's likely that Customs officials will open it to check the contents.


Step 3


List all the items in the hamper on a customs invoice when sending overseas; it won't be enough to declare ‘Christmas Hamper’ and in fact is more likely to be opened by customs officials as they’ll want to see exactly what’s inside.


If you’re sending food or liquids, in the post please ensure you know what you can and can’t send through our network first.