Tired of flimsy, unsafe or even fragile food storage containers? If you’re struggling to choose between glass containers and plastic pots, then you’ve come to the right place. To find out which food containers are the best for storing a wide range of comestibles, we’ve compared a variety of different food container materials based on their safety, durability and reliability.
Whether you own a food preparation company, food truck or concession trailer, knowing which food storage containers are right for your business could be the key to your success! We explore food storage containers that can help to prevent chaos in your pantry, as well as the food storage containers that are built for transportation. To discover the best food storage containers in the UK, simply carry on reading!
Why are food storage containers important?
Any good food business is likely to have a pantry overflowing with their essential ingredients – even more so than domestic kitchens! However, just like any other kitchen, these businesses need to keep their shelves organised and ensure that the contents within are adequately protected from damage. This is where picking the right food storage containers for your pantry ingredients can make a real difference to your revenue.
Spoilt or crushed ingredients can’t be used to create your food products, which means any money you’ve invested into your ingredients is going to waste if you don’t consider how you’re storing them. Typical pantry items that require storage and protection include more delicate foodstuffs like cereal, pasta, rice, mixed nuts and dried fruits. Broth and soups, on the other hand, are generally purchased in cans and therefore won’t need to be transferred to another container unless homemade.
Is it better to store pantry items in glass or plastic?
So, should pantry items be stored in glass or plastic containers? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both food storage container materials. First, glass food containers boast a stylish appearance, and this high-quality material doesn’t absorb the colour, flavour or odour of the contents within. If you have your ingredients on show, on the shelves of a concession truck, for example, opting for glass containers could make a better impression on your customers.
Many glass containers are also incredibly sturdy and durable and can be popped into the dishwasher for fuss-free cleaning. Unlike paper or cardboard, they can last for years, being reused time and time again as they’re made from naturally-occurring ingredients. This means that many glass products are endlessly recyclable and therefore wonderfully sustainable and great for the environment.
However, glass containers also come with a range of different lids. Some provide an airtight seal which is ideal for preventing foodstuffs from becoming stale, while other glass food containers with lids don’t offer this same security – valuing aesthetic appeal over practicality. Unfortunately, glass containers with loose lids can jeopardise the colour, flavour and nutritional content of the item being stored, leading to bland, stale or even rancid stock – an expensive and time-consuming mistake.
Not to mention, glass food containers can also be particularly expensive (not feasible for start-up companies), heavy to handle and transport, and hazardous if broken. Plastic food containers, on the other hand, offer significant benefits, including their lightweight design, airtight and tamper-evident lids, and affordability. On top of these advantages, plastic food containers are also incredibly versatile and sturdy.
They’re easy to stack on top of one another, and if you choose the right kind of plastic container, they provide enough rigidity to protect all manner of breakable foodstuffs. While they do have more of a tendency to absorb the colour, flavour and odour of their contents than the glass alternative, they’re more sustainable and reusable than you might think.
Frequently reused and recycled, plastic is highly resistant to corrosion and therefore, food containers made from this material won’t affect the quality or taste of the foodstuffs within. For your peace of mind, some plastics are even FDA-approved, so you needn’t worry about any unwanted chemicals seeping into the food while it’s in storage.
It’s also worth noting that plastic food containers can be safely stored in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards due to their ability to withstand both significantly high and low temperatures. Not to mention, they can even be placed in the dishwasher just like the glass alternative to make reusing them even easier for businesses and the end-user.
The increasing popularity of plastic containers is evident throughout the culinary world. While it’s often seen as the more obvious choice for packaging and transportation, there’s no reason that plastic food containers can’t be used as a safe, affordable and even sustainable alternative to glass food storage containers. Now you know that plastic containers are generally a safe food storage option, let’s delve a little deeper into which plastics you should be using.
What are the safest plastics for food storage?
If plastic food containers seem like the best option for your comestible storage requirements, then you’ll need to know which plastics are the safest for this application. To help you pick the perfect plastic container, you’ll find a number on the bottom of each product encircled by a triangle. This is known as a ‘resin identification code’ and can be any number between one and seven.
According to National Geographic’s Smart Plastic’s Guide, it’s best to avoid plastics with a resin identification code of three, six or seven. This is due to the fact that plastic with code three contains vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), while code six plastic can leach styrene and code seven containers include Bisphenol A (BPA). All of these chemicals have been associated with potential health issues.
Even though BPA is currently considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it cannot be used in a selection of infant products such as cups and bottles. As a result, many considerate companies will err on the side of caution (especially as consumers become more concerned about the levels of BPA in their products) and choose BPA-free plastic food containers.
For the safest plastic food storage containers, it’s, therefore, best to choose containers with a resin identification number of either one, two, four or five. You can either check the supplier’s website, give them a call or send an email enquiry to find out the exact codes for their plastic products.
At Venturepak, all our food containers are made from high-quality food-safe polypropylene (with a resin identification code of five and no known health issues) – a type of plastic that’s not only FDA-approved, but also considered to be one of the safest on the market. Plus, all of our containers also conform to the highest standards of food safety and hygiene regulations and are completely free from BPA for your peace of mind.
Which container is best for storing food?
Ready to invest in some of the best containers for food storage? While glass food containers have their benefits, we find that the plastic alternative is often a more practical, affordable and advantageous storage solution – especially for businesses looking to minimise costs and increase efficiency. Below, we’ve listed a few of the most essential features that you should bear in mind when choosing food storage containers and why each feature is so important.
First and foremost, food storage containers with lids (airtight lids in particular) are essential to preserving the colour, taste, quality and texture of any foodstuff you’re storing, so picking a container with a secure lid (be it glass or plastic) is always best. Many plastic containers are considered airtight, but if you’re unsure, you’ll find containers that are advertised as leakproof often also boast an airtight seal.
As well as being air-tight, some food storage containers also come with a tamper-evident design. Ideal if you plan on storing your foodstuffs in the same containers that the product is being transported and sold in, these tamper-evident seals give the end-user confidence that the comestible hasn’t been tampered with.
To make the most of the storage space in your refrigerator, freezer or cupboards, you should invest in a selection of food containers in various sizes. At Venturepak, for example, we offer five different sizes of rectangular containers (from 200-millilitres to 1.2-litres), and 18 square container sizes (including our 125-millilitre and 5-litre containers) and a choice of two meal prep container sizes – 500-millilitres and 750-millilitres. No matter what you’re food storage requirements might be, having a choice of sizes always helps.
Following the same vein, you should also opt for food storage containers in various shapes to accommodate different foodstuffs. Here at Venturepak, we also offer a 2.3-litre bucket container with a handle that is ideal for storing popcorn and candy floss – perfect for concession trailers! Ultimately, the perfect food container size and shape will vary depending on your specific storage requirements.
One of the most important aspects of choosing the right kind of food container is versatility. Many businesses will store ingredients and transport food in the same container, saving them both time and money. Opting for a container that’s suitable for transport and delivery is, therefore, essential for many companies.
Unlike glass containers, plastic containers are incredibly durable and non-hazardous in the unlikely event that they do break while being transported. They can also withstand a wide range of different temperatures, ensuring they’re suitable for transporting both hot and cold foodstuffs.
Venturepak’s food storage containers
At Venturepak, we pride ourselves on our unmatched customer service provided by our friendly and highly-knowledgeable team to ensure satisfaction with every sale. Alongside offering unparalleled customer service from first contact to delivery, you’ll also find high-quality offerings in our extensive range of food containers.
Conveniently located in Merseyside, the hub of our business can supply our food storage selection (including meal prep containers, square food containers and plastic buckets) to companies specialising in comestibles across the UK. Not to mention, we can also use in-mould labelling (IML) techniques to personalise your order – ideal if you want to build brand awareness or simply make your business stand out amongst the crowd!
Searching for some support? Regardless of whether you have a food packaging enquiry or need some professional advice, we have plenty of experience to help you find the right product to meet your business needs. To get in touch with us today, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01744 415111. Alternatively, you can always send your enquiry through to email@example.com.
To make contacting the Venturepak team even easier, you can also use our handy online contact form. Simply fill in your contact details (including your name, number, email address and some details about your packaging requirements), and we’ll be in touch shortly to lend a helping hand!