Plastic storage is one of the most common methods of food storage that we all use. However, despite being the most used system, it’s something a lot of health-conscious people tend to ask.
So, is it safe to store food in plastic containers? This post will exactly answer this question based on all the essential facts. However, you need to be aware of the fact that these answers depend on the grade of plastic and the method of storage.
Is It Safe To Store Food In Plastic Containers?
If you’re using plastic containers to store food items that are BPA-free certified, then you’re using the safe products. However, if you’re using the one-time plastic containers from the local discount store, then you need to be careful as they may be harmful to your health.
The fact is that there is no direct answer to “is it safe to store food in plastic containers?”, so you are not going to find any direct answer to it. This is because the answer depends completely on your choice of containers and the method.
We have carefully categorized the elements and discussed the right way to use plastic containers for food storage. Keep reading to find out all the necessary information before storing food in these containers.
Which Plastic Containers Are Safe?
All containers available in the market aren’t harmful but at the same time, they aren’t safe as well. So what makes plastic safe or dangerous in the first place?
The manufacturing method and purpose of manufacture are what determine the safety of a container. Usually, an ideal plastic container does not release BPA.
If the container was not made to store food, then it’s obvious that there are going to be health issues if it’s used for that purpose.
It’s a fact that only limited plastic storage containers for food are deemed as safe. Always make sure that you have done your bit of research before shopping for plastic containers.
What is BPA?
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA is a plasticizer. Manufacturers use this in large amounts to commercially produced lightweight plastics.
You will find this synthetic compound in almost all sorts of polycarbonate plastics and normal plastics as well. Plastic containers for storage also contain BPA.
Statistics show that the United States single-handedly produced around 1.06 million metric tons of BPA in 2018. Even though this is the highest recorded volume, the value has always been more than 0.9 million metric tons since 2000. All these BPA are used to produce various plastic products in our everyday life.
Why BPA Is Harmful?
BPA will have a number of harmful effects on human health, especially if it manages to get into the bloodstream. But how does it reach your bloodstream if you never consume it directly?
This is because the BPA gets leaks into your food when you heat the food in plastic containers. BPA is a disruptor of endocrine. This is why safe plastics for food storage are mostly BPA-free or very low BPA.
BPA Health Effects
According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), their scientists ran a urine test. The results showed that everyone tested in the US had the synthetic element present in their body. BPA under a certain limit does not affect the body, but we still have to steer from the risk.
These are commonly reported effects after usage of Plastic Containers:
- BPA disrupts the functioning of your hormones.
- The human body has a hard time distinguishing it from estrogen, due to its technical characteristics.
- Exposure to BPA may cause adverse effects on infants and children. Especially on their brain and prostate gland.
- Long-term exposure to BPA may result in reproductive disorders, heart diseases, and Diabetes (Type 2).
- Sudden symptoms of breast cancer and asthma in adults are also related to BPA consumption for longer periods.
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Safe Plastic Containers For Food
All plastic containers made for storing food are not safe. Check under the container for a recycling code. It’s the small number within a triangle.
Usually, this number ranges from 1 to 7. There are exactly two things you need to know to find out which plastic containers are safe:
The containers marked with 1, 2, 4, and 5 contain safer grades of plastic. Avoid containers marked with 3, 6, and 7 since they contain PVC, polystyrene, and BPA. This simple rule of thumb can take you a long way in maintaining good health.
How To Use Food Safe Plastic
Here are the pro-tips to let you know about the right way to handle your plastic containers.
- Use the safer grades of plastic only!
- Recycle the ones that don’t match the safety benchmark.
- Avoid putting your containers in high heat environments, especially ovens and dishwashers.
- Try to keep your storage for plastic containers limited to cold foods only.