Food grade storage containers are all important to those who want to start a safe food storage program.
Long Term food storage, large containers, small packages, glass, plastic, buckets and liners. Guidelines for what types of containers are safe and how they can be used.
Each of these types of containers will work for most dry foods. Remember foods need to be a dry type without moisture. When moist products are stored in reduced oxygen packaging, botulism poisoning may occur.
I love the idea of recycling. So much food comes in plastic bottles that can be reused. STore beans or grains in recycled plastic bottles. I would not suggest using milk containers. The plastic is much thinner and will not last. Only store food in plastics that originally carried food! Do not use non-food containers.
Storing items in these types of plastics is only for short or mid term storage. (2 or 3 yrs) I don't believe that the plastic would be airtight enough for long term (20 yrs) storage. You could put in oxygen absorbers but the plastic would eventually let oxygen seep through.
This is a bit of an unknown area for me because I've also read that platic containers can be used with oxygen absorbers for long term storage. These must be PETE or PET containers. (polyethylene terephthalate). Since I am unsure, I'll stick with using them for shorter term storage.
However you use them recycled bottles will need to be washed thoroughly. And then just as importantly they need to be dried thoroughly. Remember rodents will chew right through plastic. Store these in a rodent free area.
Here is another area where you can use recycled plastics. Go to your local bakery or bakery section in the grocery store. Ask if they have any empty buckets. Use these again for short or mid term storage.
The lids on the buckets I've aquired this way do not seal well. I'd not trust them for long term. But sugar, wheat, oats and other grains will store well for a year or more just fine.
Another benefit is the size. The bakery buckets I get are 3 gallon size. They are much lighter than a 5 gallon bucket. If you were needing to move them around it will be MUCH easier on your back. For my sake, I like the smaller size.
The buckets are great for a myriad of uses. Ours have hauled chicken feed, water, gravel, paint, dirt. You could store toys, or non food items as well. If you are stocking up on soaps or cleaing products they might come in handy there too. Sinse these buckets are free I always have some available.
I'll bet you can guess what I'm going to suggest here! Yep, canning jars. Quart, Gallons, Half Gallons. They all make great storage containers. This is a good place to use the non canning jars that you may have saved.
There are risks to using glass containers. Mainly... they break. If there were an earthquake or if you needed to move quickly. Glass would not be very useful. But for everyday storage they are handy.
Foods will stay safe longer when in an oxygen free environment. If you are going to invest in the long term storage, you might as well be assured that it will be good when you need it. Be sure and take the time to package it well.
For Long term bulk storage in buckets you have two options. Use the recycled buckets that I described above but add foil liner bags. The Foil bags will keep out oxygen and make the foods safe long term
Or purchase buckets made for long term storage. Some people add a foil liner for these as well. Remember even though plastic seems oxygen proof, I read it may eventually allow oxygen to seep into your foods.
The final food storage container I'd like to tell you about is the number 10 can.
They are airtight. Using oxygen absorbers will prevent bug infestation and keep your foods fresh for many years. They are also rodent proof! Small and easy to handle makes these very handy.
These are similar to a coffee can but made in such a way that you can seal them yourself at home with the correct equipment.
This is often called dry canning. Here are step by step directions on the dry canning method.
Home Food Storage Why would I consider working on a home food storage plan? Because I love it when my family looks at me like I'm crazy... just kidding! Really there are good reasons for being prepared.
Emergency Food Supply Short and Long Term Food Storage. Trying to figure out just where you should start? When I finally got it through my head that I should plan for long term AND short term... well it saved many many brain cells. Much simpler to break things down.
Food Grade Storage Containers A discussion of the options for containers to keep it all in. Most important... it MUST be food grade.