Food Safety Issues/Delivered Ham


We were sent a ham in a regular cardboard box with only a small "refrigerate upon delivery" sticker on it the size of a post it note, and it was stacked underneath two other boxes.

The box sat inside the house for 24 hours before my husband saw the refrigeration sticker and we found out a ham was delivered.

It was marked '2 day delivery,' so it could have been 3 days in the box. It was packed with molded styrofoam insulation and vacuum sealed in plastic. Still cold to the touch (very cold) when husband took it out and put it in the fridge.

I intend to call the company as well, but what do you think?

Thank you,

Hi Carrie,

You say the ham was cold when you found it which indicates that it was very well insulated by the packer.

While normally I'd say that a ham 24 hours at room temperature should be pitched, your indication that it was very cold to the touch implies that the internal temperature of the ham was close to refrigerator temperature. With that information, I'm leaning towards saying that the ham is okay to heat and consume.  When you heat the ham, bring it to a minimum of 165 degrees F to ensure safety.

I would call the company and discuss the safety of the product with them.  Chances are high that since it was packed for 2 day delivery and that it was cold when discovered, it will be safe to consumption.

Happy Holidays.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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