Which Plastic Is Best For Food Storage? There are alot of questions and concerns over this topic, but don’t worry, in this article, I’ve covered everything there is regarding food storage containers, what they are, how to store food in them and what material makes them safe.
But first, what kind of plastics are there for food storage?
there are 4 kinds of popular plastics which are typically used to manufacture plastic boxes for food storage.
- PET or PETE – (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
- HDPE – (High Density Polyethylene)
- LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)
- PP – (Polypropylene)
these are the four types of plastic compounds that are used to manufacture food storage plastic boxes.
But which one of them is the safest?
There are some health risks associated with PET, HDPE and LDPE but the safest material is PP ( Polypropylene).
What is The Safest Plastic For Food Storage?
As stated above, the safest plastic for food storage is PP (polypropylene). Why? Because its made from a type of petroleum.
Furthermore, PP is a widely used plastic compound in commercial items, such as cheese, butter or yogurt containers.
But what really highlights the fact that this type of plastic is safe is that PP is FDA approved as well.
What Plastic Grade Is The Best For Food Storage?
What Plastic Can I Store Food In?
This is a very vague question, because the type of plastic that you choose directly correlates to the type of food you want to store.
For example, If i want to store beverages then i would store them in a PET container.
If i wanted to store milk and dairy products, then i would store them in an HDPE container.
If i wanted to store bread or frozen food then I’d select an LDPE container
And if i wanted to store food that i would microwave later on, or store in the fridge, then i would definitely go for PP.
Is Acrylic Plastic Food Safe?
If you don’t have any other option or if you don’t want to spend money, only then i’d recommend an Acrylic food storage container.
But why am i saying this? I’m telling you this because acrylic is a very brittle type of plastic, its generally safe for food storage , but it’s not dishwasher friendly.
And in some reports, it’s even said to retain chemicals.
In short, only use Acrylic plastic as a last resort.
Why Plastics Are Not Suitable For Storing Cooked Food?
there is a very common misconception that storing cooked/ hot food in plastic will cause cancer. While that is true for HDPE and LDPE , it’s not true for Polypropylene.
Which is why Polypropylene is also considered as one of the safest plastics for food storage.
Some people have a misconception that hot food in plastic causes cancer, that is a misconception, or should i say, true to a certain extent, there is a chemical called BPA (Bisphenol A)in plastics, high concentrations of BPA can cause cancer.
But the vast majority of food storage plastic boxes contain little to no traces of BPA so you’re very unlikely to get cancer from storing cooked food in a plastic box.
Use PP (Polypropylene), its one of the best materials used to manufacture food grade plastic containers with lids.
Is It Better To Store Food In Glass Or Plastic?
There are risks associated with both of the things. Let’s take an example, you go to a store and you buy a plastic food storage container, and you start using it, but you don’t know which material was used to manufacture the food storage container.
In another instance, you go to a store and you buy a glass dish and you start using it to store your food, but you don’t know what type of glass was used to make it.
In both cases there are risks, for example, when you microwave the food in your plastic container, it might start to smell a bit weird, same goes with the glass dish, what if you microwave the food in your glass dish and it cracks?
So in conclusion, it depends upon what kind of food you want to store in your container.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Storing Food In Plastic Containers?
- Poor LifeSpan : everyone knows that plastics are a weak material and can degrade over time, causing them to smell , shrink or even get full of holes.
- Plastics Absorb Food Smell: Plastics tend to absorb alot of the smell and aroma from the food that you store in the containers, and as a result of that they get very smelly and hard to clean.
- Pollution: As of 2022, plastics are still one of the main causes of pollution, some plastics are even very difficult to recycle, which is why one of the disadvantages of using plastic as food containers is pollution.
Can You Store Dry Food In Plastic Containers?
Yes you can, storing dry food in plastic containers is a safe option, you can store cereal, oats, dog food, and any kind of dry food in your plastic storage container, as long as you don’t heat it up.
Conclusion | Which Plastic Is Best For Food Storage?
We have reviewed various types of plastic compounds used to make plastic storage boxes, but the safest one for overall food storage is a polypropylene plastic box, because it is FDA approved and is recognized as the safest material for storing food.
You can use polypropylene plastic storage boxes to store dry food, wet food or even certain types of liquids, for more plastic boxes, take a look at storageboxdirect.