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Smoked meat in vac pack unrefrigerated

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all. Is it possible to ship smoked meats unrefrigerated if they're sealed in a vaccum pack? I was just curious, since I see smoked salmon vaccum sealed and sitting on shelves at room temperature at my local grocery store all the time. I was thinking it'd be nice to smoke up something for my mother across the country, vac seal it, and send priority mail, but I don't want to risk spoilage. I guess the alternative would be to get some dry ice and a small cooler, but I'm trying to keep the cost on the low end.

post #2 of 8

My opinion: only if cuerd.. Check out the food saftey forum.

Edited by ronp - 6/8/10 at 9:15pm
post #3 of 8

Unless it is cured properly with the proper cure I would highly suggest the cooler and dry ice method.

post #4 of 8

I agree with Ron and Piney this is not safe unless it is cured

post #5 of 8

The vacuum pack eliminates most of the oxygen exposure, but does it really?  You still have the remaining spoilage issues of moisture, temperature and time to deal with.  If it has not been cured carefully, this could be very dangerous.  Even the dry ice and cooler solution could be very risky.  I would not take the chance.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies, guys. I guess this is where my ignorance of smoking vs. curing comes into play. I'd always been under the impression that smoking was a form of curing, but the more I read up on it, the more I've learned there are differences. Wouldn't want to send my dear mama something to make her sick.

post #7 of 8

Smoking by itself can be a form of curing as the smoke contains nitrites that permeate the meat; such is the way smoking for a long time preserved the settlers meats for transportation unrefrigerated across the plains.  Adding curing agents just shortens that smoking time.  Most smokehouses of yore operated for several weeks of smoking, not just a few hours.  But, meat had to be severed to the bone to let the smoke reach the innards before it would spoil so smoke could permeate from both sides to the middle.

Here is a great article on it:


To be able to leave at room temperature for long periods of time, you need to eliminate any foreign bacterias from the product, which would require the utmost in sanitation levels, something hard to achieve at home.  Ground meats have a shelf life of 2 days under normal conditions while also under 40° refrigeration, only an hour without refrigeration.  But, the 'tubes' or 'chubs' of ground meats now found in meat departments have a 45 day refrigerated shelf life; what makes that possible?  Total elimination of 99.9% of all bacteria.  Intense surgical-room cleanliness from kill to packaging; again not being able to duplicate at home.

However, cured and smoked product, frozen and packed in a suitcase should be able to survive a flight to mom's house and a great excuse to go see her!

post #8 of 8

idk, I have my worries, but when I went to tennesse last year, every mom and pop country store had vacuum packed bacon, butter, and hams all sitting out on the shelf unrefridgerated. Who knows how long it sits there before it gets sold. So its definitely possible its just got to be cured right. Back in the old days, smoked meats hung in the smokehouse for months until they were used. You can definitely do it, just make sure you have it cured/smoked properly

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