Plastic is the most widely used material for storing food around the world. This comes as no surprise since there are many benefits that come with using small disposable containers for food storage. Despite their numerous advantages, there are still some businesses and households that do not use plastic containers because of misinformation. For instance, according to a common misconception, plastic containers are not safe for food storage because they contain harmful chemicals like BPAs.
However, the truth is that not all plastics are unsafe for food storage. As a matter of fact, plastic containers usually come with a food-grade score on the bottom, which provides consumers with an idea of how safe they are for storing food. To learn more about this, read on as this article discusses in detail what food grade means in plastics and which type of plastic containers are the safest when it comes to food storage.
What Food Grade Means in Plastics
Food-grade plastics are basically plastic materials considered safe for use with foods. They are manufactured to meet specific standards of purity, which means that they are made without the use of any materials that could pose a danger to human health. For plastic containers to be considered food-grade, they must meet certain regulations, such as the absence of additives, dyes, and any other harmful products.
Food-grade plastics can contain recycled materials, but they should fit proper guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Usually, plastic containers come with a food-grade rating that spans from 1 to 7. When it comes to food storage, plastic grades 2, 4, and 5 are deemed the safest. The use of these plastics for storing food will prevent accidental ingestion of harmful toxins.
Food-Grade Plastic Containers That Are Safe for Food Storage
The FDA is the primary agency in the world that is responsible for determining how plastics and other materials may act when they come in direct contact with food. There are several kinds of FDA-approved plastics out there that businesses and households can use for storing food. Here are some of the most common food-safe plastic containers that are apt for safe food storage:
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polycarbonate (PC)
- Food-grade polypropylene (PP)
PET as a Food-Grade Plastic
PET is perhaps the most popular plastic material that is safe for use with foods. A PET round container usually has excellent wear resistance, stability, and strength which makes it ideal for storing, packaging, and transporting food products. Aside from food containers, other reliable food-grade PET products include condiment bottles, beverage bottles, and medicine bottles. Keep in mind that some PET plastic bottles are safe for one-time usage only, which means that they can become unsafe if reused.
Generally, polyethylene, the resin used for making PET food containers, is non-toxic and safe. However, to maintain its safety for food storage, proper handling of PET containers is necessary. This includes not storing these containers in the sun or not leaving them in hot places. Otherwise, UV rays can break the polyethylene down and cause the material to become dangerous. You should also avoid reusing PET containers since polystyrene is known for releasing dangerous levels of BPA.
Contrary to popular misconception, plastics are generally safe when it comes to storing food. However, to ensure the safety of your plastic containers and protect your food against potential contamination, it is necessary to know which plastic materials are specifically food-grade and which are not. Different plastics have different levels of suitability for food storage. Make sure your plastic containers are safe for use with foods by being aware of what food grade means in plastics.
If you are in need of the safest and most high-quality plastic containers in Singapore, Supply Smiths is the plastic container supplier you should partner with! We provide an extensive range of premium and affordable food packaging and storage solutions, spanning from plastic containers and cake box packaging to platter trays and bento lunch boxes. Our most in-demand plastic food containers are particularly made of PET materials, so you can ensure their quality and safety.
Please feel free to check our complete collection or get in touch with us anytime to find out more about our products.