For many families, the practice of meal preparation and keeping leftovers for the next day’s lunch is convenient. Additionally, it’s a fantastic method to prolong the enjoyment of family get-togethers, events, or special feasts.
When it comes to food storage, many kitchens are well-stocked with plastic tubs, cling wraps, and other containers. Consumers can find recommendations for plastic food containers from Michigan State University Extension and the Public Health and Safety Organization NSF. Here is everything you need to know.
Keep Your Food Safe Using Plastic Food Containers
1. Use containers made of food-grade plastic
A food-grade container won’t let toxins from other sources get into the food. Food contamination from non-food grade plastic containers is a risk, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. To ensure that they are secure for food, plastic food containers must adhere to a set of rules.
2. Never reuse single-use containers
Plastics made for one-time usage should not reused. Some things are not made to tolerate heating and cooling, and plastic degrades with time.
The majority of plastics with recycling code number one such as single-use water bottles are made for single use. Transferring your food into certain containers made for storing or reheating meals is preferable to utilizing these plastics again.
3. Hand-wash plastic containers
Only plastics that are marked “dishwasher safe” should placed in the dishwasher. You may wash plastic containers by hand as well. To prevent viruses from contaminating other food, make sure the grooves surrounding the apertures are clean.
Be mindful of any lids that don’t close tightly while cleaning plastic containers, and discard any that have scratches, cracks, or other signs of wear. Plastic containers that retain scents should thrown away if cleaning does not get rid of them.
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4. Only use plastic freezer-safe containers for freezing food
Only plastics that marked freezer safe should placed in the freezer. Single-use containers shouldn’t used in the freezer, such as ice cream or milk cartons. Use freezer-safe containers that are leak-proof, moisture-vapor resistant, and simple to seal, advises MSU Extension.
5. When using a microwave, use the right food containers
Utilizing only containers designed specifically for microwave usage is advised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If they bear the phrase microwave safe, glass, porcelain, and some plastics safely microwaved.
The United States Department of Agriculture advises avoiding microwaving in single-use containers that not made for the purpose, including yogurt cartons, margarine tubs, or foam-insulated cups.
6. Keep it cool
Despite its durability and strength, polycarbonate plastic can eventually degrade due to exposure to extreme temperatures and repeated usage. Never microwave food that is in plastic containers, such as takeout containers from restaurants or margarine tubs.
Because they are only mean to used once, plastic containers from packaged microwaveable meals are not reused. It’s also advisable to refrain from washing plastic containers in the dishwasher.
Use plastic food containers only for the storage of cold foods, and choose them carefully. They could also be perfect for moving meals. For storing cold or hot meals, think about using glass or stainless steel containers. Both cleaned and reused, making them perfect for food storage in homes as well.
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