Food storage containers can save you money by allowing you to buy food in
bulk, which reduces waste from product packaging. They also help you preserve
leftovers and reduce the amount of food that's lost to spoilage. They keep
food odors from permeating the refrigerator and keep pests out of dry goods.
Finally, food storage containers can be used to transport food safely to
school, work or a picnic.
Here's what experts say about shopping for food storage containers:
- Go for
BPA-free plastic. Bisphenol A (BPA) has been in the news since animal
testing linked the chemical to various health problems, including brain
damage and cancer. The Food and Drug Administration backs the elimination
of BPA plastics in manufacturing, and it's much easier to find BPA-free
plastics in the marketplace than it was a few years ago. BPA-free containers
are usually clearly marked as such. If they aren't, check the recycling
code and steer clear of plastic labeled No. 7.
- Glass does not stain. If you're concerned
about staining, choose glass or Pyrex. Generally speaking, the harder
the material, the more resistant to staining. Pyrex and glass are impervious
to stains, but they are heavier than plastic.
- Rectangular food storage
containers work best in cabinets and in the fridge. These are easier
to store than are round containers, resulting in less wasted space.
- Gentle hand-washing
is best. Dishwashers and stiff brushes can mar plastic containers, creating
crevices where bacteria can hide. Additionally, some containers and lids
can warp from the high heat used in the dishwasher. If you do decide
to run containers through the dishwasher, users advise placing them in
the top rack.
food storage container sets. In general, purchasing a set is less costly
than buying containers individually. Additionally, many of these sets
nest within one another, allowing for easy storage and reducing cabinet
In addition, here are some usage tips:
- Remove odors with bleach. Mix up a
solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water, fill containers and
let sit overnight. Then wash with hot, soapy water, rinse and allow to
your food. Experts say that you should fill out tags with the name
of the food and the date you prepared or stored it.
- Store food in usable quantities. Freezing chicken stock in 1- or 2-cup containers is convenient. You
can also freeze 1 or 2 tablespoons of ingredients such as tomato paste
in ice-cube trays before transferring them to a storage container.