Compare/contrast: The four types of food storage containers

Compare/contrast: The four types of food storage containers
Container and Packaging
by Container and Packaging
September 8, 2020, Updated August 11, 2021

You should use food grade containers for storing anything you intend to eat. A food grade container is one that will not transfer non-food chemicals into the food and contains no chemicals which would be hazardous to human health. If you are uncertain whether a container is food-grade or not then contact the manufacturer and ask if a particular container is approved for food use.


Food Storage container

High density polyethylene buckets may have HDPE stamped on them, or a recycle symbol with a “2” in the middle. You can also look for plastic containers made from polycarbonate, polyester or polyethylene. Plastic storage containers are the most popular types of containers to store dry goods. Water can also be stores safely in plastic containers.

Metal cans
For storing dry foods metal cans work great, but they tend to be more expensive than plastic containers, take specialized equipment to use (glass jars also needs special equipment to store food), can be hard to come by and they can only be sealed once. For these reasons, metal cans are not the most popular solution. Unfortunately, metal cans can rust from both the inside and out.

Vacuum pouches
Vacuum pouches also take special equipment to work with, but once sealed properly they last for a long time.

Glass jars

glass container food storage

Compared to metal cans glass jars are very stable, but they don’t handle being dropped or bumped hard very well. The biggest advantage that glass jars have is the ability to be reused over and over again, but it does take specialized equipment.