Food storage containers are very common today. They are used in stockades and homes alike to store different kinds of foods. Many kinds of food storage containers are available in the market today, but not all of them are of excellent quality. They are made from different materials. Plastic is one of the most commonly used, but is not the best of materials used in the production of food storage containers.
Walk this path when buying a food storage container.
- Always look at the material the container is made up of. If it’s made of plastic, make sure it is of good quality.
- Also, turn over your food container and check for the number printed on the bottom. If the number is #3 or #7, then beware, as the box is likely to contain either BPA (bisphenol A) or phthalates (used to make PVC plastics), or even both. Both of these are very dangerous for the human body. If mixed in the blood stream, they can adversely affect the normal functioning of a person’s body.
- Containers containing any of these are banned in Canada and most of the European countries, but the US has yet to take an action on it. Unfortunately, they are easily available in the market, but it is high advisable not to buy them as they can cause serious damage to the body. If the container doesn’t mention that it is BPA and PVC-free, then do not buy it.
- Also, check the food storage containers you have already bought. Throw them away if they are number #3 or #7. Containers that are #2, #4 or #5 are considered safe for food storage.
Some other points that you should keep in mind are:
Plastic and Microwave
Most people take out plastic containers from their refrigerators and put them in the microwave to heat. Even if your container mentions that it is microwave proof, do not commit this mistake. The plastic might be able to counter heat and not melt, but one shouldn’t forget that all the containers contain harmful chemicals that can leech onto the food when heated. Do not take that risk and always transfer your food into other suitable dishware, such as glass, before heating it in the microwave.
Plastic and Washing
Dishwashers make it easier to wash dishes, but they aren’t the best option to resort to when it comes to washing plastic. They are good for plates and glasses but just like microwave, they require the use of heating techniques and as mentioned above, heating plastic has its own disadvantages. The best option is to wash all the plastic products manually with the hands, using lukewarm water.
Plastic and the Substitute
Plastic containers have glass containers as their substitute. If your kitchen is full of good quality plastic containers, then you don’t need to throw them all away. What you should do is gradually shift to glass. When you go to buy yourself a food container next time, choose glass containers. They are not only more useful, but are also very affordable. Also, avoid buying glass containers that come with plastic lids.