Friday, April 3, 2009

Food Storage Containers

There are several ways to store items purchased for food storage. Always use a food-grade container. (Food grade containers will be labeled "PETE" or "PET"). Store food in tightly sealed containers to keep them free from insects. Food will store best and longest if it is in a cool, dark, dry place, and in an air-tight container.

I have not seen these pails for sale at local stores, but you can do a Google search for "5 gallon plastic pail" and find many online retailers. A member of our ward orders items such as these each month from Emergency Essentials. By ordering as a group we can save on shipping. Contact me if you are interested in this.

These buckets come with this style of lid:

This type of lid works fine. You may wish to purchase a lid lifter to help open the lids. (A lid lifter is about $5 and you only need one lifter--it can be used repeatedly on multiple buckets).

You can also purchase a gamma seal lid which can be twisted open easily. If you are regularly using your bulk storage items, and if you don't mind spending the extra money (about $6 apiece), this is a very convenient lid.

You can often get similar buckets for free from a local bakery (including a bakery in a grocery store). Their frosting and other items come in these and they typically just throw them away. They will often save them for you if you ask, or they will tell you a good time of day/week to come and collect them. Usually the lids will seal fine, but sometimes they have been opened carelessly and don't quite shut tight anymore. If they don't shut tight, then use them for pre-packaged foods (such as raisins, Jell-o, pasta, etc.) because without a tight seal, they will not keep insects out of open grains, etc. This is a frosting bucket from a bakery:

You can purchase bulk foods from the church home storage center in Kansas City. You can also package these bulk foods at the home storage center. There are two options for packaging: in #10 cans, or in mylar pouches. For more information, you can contact the home storage center (816-453-4269), or you can ask me.

You can also use plastic containers such as Rubbermaid storage containers (see container with blue lid in the photo below). You can re-use thick plastic containers that have previously held other food items (such as the apple juice container which is now used to hold rice, also in the photo below). You can use other containers as well, such as these two glass or plastic containers that previously held other food items.

Just make sure that all containers are clean and dry and can be properly shut. Make sure they are food-grade and made of thick, sturdy plastic. (Milk cartons, for example, are not sturdy enough for long-term storage of liquid, and not thick enough to keep out weevil or other insects).

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