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Ensure you're using food grade containers this Christmas

December 22, 2014 at 10:08 AM

At this time of year people are mixing up all manner of magical grub and grog.  Whether for festive parties or for the family, we all suddenly become junior Jamie’s and Nigella’s… whisking up the most incredible concoctions. 

But whilst the ingredients may be readily available, it is often the containers for both preparation and storage of the food that are forgotten.  And that’s where H&O’s range of food grade containers comes into its own.  But what is food grade?

Put simply, here in the UK we have detailed regulations surrounding any material that is intended to come into contact with foodstuffs, simply to protect any possibility of chemicals interfering with the food stored within the container.  You wouldn’t want to mix of a batch of hooch in a bucket previously used for storing paint, now would you!

food_grade_container.jpgBest advice is to buy a dedicated food grade container from the “tamper evident” section of our website.  However, what follows is a handy guide, in case you do want to check the containers you already have about the house.

Food grade check list

1. Firstly, turn your bucket upside down (making sure, of course, that it is empty of all liquids and foodstuffs!)  You should see a recycling number within some arrows.  The numbers one, four, and five highlight a food grade container, indicating the materials PETE, LDPE and polypropylene (PP).  Probably the best plastic for storing food is high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and that will be indicated by the number two.  Meanwhile, number seven means bio-plastic – organic, plant-based material – which can also be used for storing food.

2. You may also find other symbols around the side of the bucket, which will indicate food grade quality and the utility of the container for various cooking and storage uses.  As with most symbols, these will hopefully be self-explanatory. They may, for instance, take the form of a cup and fork, which denotes food grade.  A symbol showing radiating waves indicates you can put the container in a microwave, and a snowflake symbol means you can store food within the container in a freezer.  Similarly, a dishwasher-safe container will carry a symbol that shows dishes in water.

3. A couple of final things to think about.  Do be careful about re-using any containers where you can’t be entirely sure of their history.  At the end of the day, all the symbols in the world won’t matter if someone has previously used the bucket for storing meths, or mixing chemicals.  Secondly, when buying new, do look for the symbols mentioned in points one and two but as a rule of thumb, if the bucket is significantly more expensive than others, it very probably indicates a higher grade plastic.

This may all seem like something of a minefield, but these regulations really seek to put people’s minds at ease.  However, when purchasing a food grade container from H&O, your mind can be completely at ease, assured that it is designed specifically for use with food destined for human consumption.  That, in turn, will give you the peace of mind to launch into the preparation of your festive spirits. 


Tags: food standards food grade buckets party ideas
Category: plastic food containers

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