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Old 04-07-2015, 19:10   #1
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Frozen meat in luggage

Doing a week in the USVI/BVI with 6 wonderful friends next week. We are self-provisioning in Red Hook on our first day. Several of the crew are freezing some select steaks and putting them in their luggage when we leave for the airport. They are including some lunch meat and other items that can be frozen and putting the steaks in the middle.

Question: will the meat stay cold enough to remain fresh to cook the first night on the boat? It will be 10 hours from the time we leave the house until we can board the boat.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:12   #2
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

Sure, you can always wrap them in newspaper to prolong the frozen state.
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:36   #3
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

I remember bringing special meat from Sydney to Beijing a number of years ago. It cost a pretty penny to get past the airport customs guys. The meat was kosher but getting it into the country wasn't.
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:36   #4
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

I have several of these bags. They fold up flat when empty. The insulation is quite good. They also make great shopping bags to get cold things home from a store - less energy for the boat fridge to cool it back down. They zip up so you're less apt to drop the groceries in the bottom of the dinghy.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CMI1NY/...ds=freezer+bag
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:58   #5
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

It takes time for meat or anything to spoil, so that the meat will be fine.

The thing you haven't taken into account is Customs. Red Hook in the USVI is US territory and US Customs strictly regulates fresh and processed meat, because of the way serious diseases have been carried across borders in them. Phone US Customs now and ask if you can do this, and declare the meat to Customs when you arrive in the USVI.
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Old 04-07-2015, 19:58   #6
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

Going from a frozen state to "fresh to cook", well yeah.
Getting it past customs might require some Cuban cigars or something similar.
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Old 04-07-2015, 21:29   #7
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

We do this every time we go to the islands. We have found that PISMO's work the best since the large chunks will stay rock solid even hours later. Just put the hunk of frozen meat in the middle of your suitcase.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:22   #8
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, 2wheelin.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:30   #9
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

Thank you all for the salutations and the tips thus far.

The stumbling block appears to be Customs, IF I have to go through it. Do US citizens arriving in St Thomas from the US mainland have to go through Customs?

I was just there last year and landed at Cyril E. King Airport (CEKA), but I don't remember if I went through C & I.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:51   #10
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

The question is not whether you have to go through customs. It's whether it's legal to bring in frozen meat. Most countries forbid it. Assuming that you care about breaking the law, you need to check the laws for the country you are entering.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:07   #11
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

We do this all the time! Use soft sided coolers, the meat is the refrigerant. We take the cooler to publics, buy all our stuff, then ask the butcher to put the whole cooler in their super freezer, then pick it up on the way to the airport. Stays rock hard for over 24 hours!
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:58   #12
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

You need to do two things other than ask on a forum. Call the airlines you plan to fly on and ask. Call the U.S. Customs office IN THE AIRPORT YOU WILL LAND IN and ask. And then you will have the answer to the question as to whether you can at all. Then plan on packing the meat in dry ice for the flight back. Chuck
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:13   #13
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

you better hope the airline does not lose your luggage for a few days!
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:19   #14
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Going from a frozen state to "fresh to cook", well yeah.
Getting it past customs might require some Cuban cigars or something similar.

Bribing a US Customs officer could cost more than the meat is worth!

The way I would do it is to bring it in and DECLARE it. If they say no they will just confiscate it.

But please remember: as tiny and shoddy you may think the Caribbean islands and small town dumps like the USVI, they have heard of, and actually have SUPERMARKETS and these things called supermarkets have stuff called meat. By jingo, by crikey, they also sell toilet paper and bread and ummmm food. Plus the checkout chicks don't have a bone in their nose and hold spears. You are likely to get a full range of the best US steaks at prices not too much more than home.



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Old 05-07-2015, 09:46   #15
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Re: Frozen meat in luggage

DO NOT DO THIS!!! As a college student, my mom gave me a lovely sirloin steak, hard frozen, to take back home with me. I tossed it into my suitcase, looking forward to a great meal. The airline lost my luggage. Two weeks later, it appeared. Not only was the meat disgusting, but all my clothes were smelly beyond salvage. NOT a pleasant memory. Even after 40 years, I can still smell that suitcase.
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