With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been a lot of focus on food packaging safety. Many people are wondering if the salad that they eat from a paper bowl or the frozen yogurt that they snack on while walking around the store, will make them sick. The answer to this question is complicated. There are many factors that contribute to food safety, and food packaging is just one of them. In this blog post, we will take a look at what you need to know about food packaging safety.
The Importance of Food Packaging
Before we discuss food packaging safety, let’s talk a little about what food packaging is. Food packaging is any material that covers or wraps around food. It can also extend the shelf life of food by keeping oxygen and moisture out. This is important for both perishable and non-perishable foods. The most common examples of food packaging are plastic, paper, ceramic, glass, and metal.
The role of food packaging as described above is important. We get a lot of our nutrition from the food that has been stored in some form of packaging. Not only that, but food packaging makes it easier to store, transport, and consume our food.
Additionally, packaging for food can also be used to promote a product. For example, packaging can be used to highlight the health benefits of a food product and can also be used to make a product more appealing to consumers.
The Dangers of Unsafe Food Packaging
Though food packaging plays an important role in the safe storage and distribution of food, it is necessary to note that food packaging can be dangerous. This is because most food is exposed to some form of packaging for a period of time which affects the taste or the smell of the product.
There are potential dangers associated with food packaging, including:
- Leaching of chemicals: Some packaging materials can leach chemicals into food, which can be harmful to human health.
- Microbial contamination: If food packaging is not properly sanitized, it can become a source of microbial contamination.
- Physical hazards: Some packaging materials, such as glass or sharp metals, can pose physical hazards if they are not properly handled.
- Environmental pollution: Food packaging, especially packaging with harmful chemicals, can pollute the environment when food is discarded.
The good news is that there are guidelines set up by the United States Food and Drug Administration to combat these dangers. If followed, these guidelines should ensure food safety and reduce the amount of spoilage in food.
The Steps You Need to Take to Ensure Your Food Packaging Is Safe
There are a few steps you need to take to ensure your food packaging is safe.
1. Food-grade materials.
When choosing materials for food packaging, make sure they are food-grade. Food-grade means that the materials have been manufactured and processed in a way that they don’t contain any hazardous elements or chemicals. To determine if a material is food-grade, check the thermal label or contact the manufacturer.
2. Make sure the packaging is durable and is the right material for your product.
For example, if you’re sending out cookies in a plastic bag, the plastic might come into contact with the food. Make sure the plastic isn’t porous or that there are no holes in it so that the food doesn’t come into contact with air, which can lead to spoilage.
3. Easy to clean and sanitize.
Instead of choosing a material that is difficult to clean, such as plastic, stainless steel, or glass, choose one that’s easy to clean and sanitize. This will ensure that the food packaging is safe from microbial dangers.
4. Properly sealed.
Make sure the food packaging is properly sealed. Any holes in the packaging might allow contaminants to get inside.
5. Acid-resistant and high-heat tolerant.
If you’re shipping food that has a low acid content, such as most fruit, you need to make sure the packaging is acid-resistant and high-heat tolerant. This will ensure that the food doesn’t spoil from acidification or combustion during heating.
6. Airproof and waterproof.
Make sure the food packaging you choose is airproof and waterproof because these barriers protect against foreign particles, dust, dirt, and moisture.
7. Stay away from scents and additives.
Don’t choose packaging that has scents or additives; these can actually affect the taste or smell of your product.
By taking these steps, you can be sure your food packaging is safe and will keep your food fresh and delicious. Additionally, you can avoid unnecessary expenses like calling a Bossley Park plumber for damaged garbage disposal due to too much food waste.
Don’t let your food packaging put your customers at risk. Make sure you know the dangers of unsafe food packaging and take the necessary steps to ensure your packaging is safe.