Year-Round Temperature Shipping Guidelines
In hot weather, Raw Cultured Vegetables are delicious to eat, even when they have experienced heat for days. How much heat for how long? It depends on a myriad of factors, and depends on an individual's taste buds. One simple solution in hot weather is to order insulated. We charge $45 to ship up to 36 containers in insulated packaging. If you want to save money on insulation fees, one option is to look at the projected weather temperatures (available at yahooweather.com) and order it non-insulated when the temperatures are expected to be under 90 in the states between California and the state where you will receive it.
Regardless of whether you receive your raw cultured vegetables via an insulated or non-insulated shipping method, it's our recommendation that you plan on refrigerating these cultured vegetables down to a low non-frozen temperature like 33 or 34 degrees before opening. This will minimize potential that this fresh live food will expand out of the jar when opened. Even if the vegetables expand, they're still delicious and fine to eat.
Understanding The Perishability Of Raw Cultured Vegetables
The culturing or fermentation process that occurs with raw cultured vegetables is a natural method of food preservation. When raw cultured vegetables are refrigerated, this natural method of preservation enables raw cultured vegetables to be delicious for many months. When raw cultured vegetables are unrefrigerated, this natural method of preservation enables raw cultured vegetables to be delicious for many days, depending upon how warm they get. When raw cultured vegetables are left unrefrigerated as when they are shipped, this is fine because the natural method of preservation is still working and a multi-month shelf life still occurs when raw cultured vegetables are taken down to a really cold temperature above freezing like 33° or 34° upon receipt, and then kept refrigerated to a cold temp like 33° or 34°. This cold refrigerated temperature increases the shelf life and minimizes expansion, although slightly warmer refrigerated temperatures under 40° are still likely to work fine in terms of maintaining shelf life and minimizing expansion.
We like store personnel to think in terms of raw cultured vegetables as being more perishable than dairy because: we expect that this way store personnel will be more likely to really care to immediately refrigerate raw cultured vegetables to 33° or 34°, thus enhancing their marketability for the full six- to eight-month shelf life.
A rule of thumb is that if the average temperature is under 60° then the raw cultured vegetables can be unrefrigerated successfully for many days longer than normal shipping times. If between 60° and 70° then they may be unrefrigerated successfully for in excess of 2 weeks and if between 70° and 80° then they may be unrefrigerated successfully for up to two weeks. If it's over 80° and less than 90° then they should probably be unrefrigerated for less than four days and if over 90° and up to 100° they should probably be unrefrigerated for less than two days. If over 100° they should probably be unrefrigerated for less than a day.