A food storage container is used to hold food at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer. There are several options available for storing food in any of these manners. Before selecting the type of container to use, several factors must be taken into consideration. Consider the type of storage (room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen), the food being stored, length of storage, and storage space. The container can be a plastic bag, plastic container, or glass container.
Plastic Bags: Plastic bags come in many types and sizes. They are available as sealable bags and non-sealable bags. They range in size from a little snack size to a large 2 gallon size. There are plastic bags manufactured for the purpose of storing food in the freezer that are made from a heavier plastic to help protect the food from moisture loss. Plastic bags can be used to store many types of food, whether at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer. The flexibility of the bag makes it more difficult to fill without spilling when trying to store food that contains a lot of liquid. The plastic bag may not store as neatly as a plastic or glass container but many times their flexibility allows them to be squeezed into a space that a plastic or glass container would not fit. Having a supply of plastic bags on hand also takes up little space in comparison to plastic or glass container.
Glass Containers: Glass storage containers generally have a plastic lid for sealing the food airtight in the container. Glass containers are available in clear, frosted, and colored glass, and range in size from 1 cup to several quarts. They can be used for storing foods at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. The glass containers are very sturdy and do a good job of keeping the food fresh. Some glass containers can be used to bake in or microwave in also. Some brands can be taken from the refrigerator and placed in an oven immediately without causing it to crack. Before using in this manner, be sure it is heat and cold resistant. Glass will not stain, peel, or take on the taste or odor of the food stored in them. The glass containers will be more susceptible to breakage so care must be taken when using them.
Plastic Containers: Plastic containers are also available in many sizes, shapes, and styles. They are found in different degrees of sturdiness, from light weight disposable containers to heavy duty rigid plastic container. They are manufactured with clear, frosted, and colored plastic and most have airtight lids. They work great for storing food in the refrigerator and freezer, where the airtight lids prevent moisture loss. The airtight lids keep foods, such as cookies, crackers, chips, and cereals form becoming stale for a longer period of time when stored at room temperature. Plastic containers work well for all types of storage. They store well together and can really help organize a storage area. They are available in so many shapes and sizes that it is easy to find one to fit your special needs. Foods containing a lot of liquid, store easily in this type of container. Some brands have been designed to stack neatly to assist in storing them both when not in use and when using them to store food. They are lightweight and easy to handle. The plastic containers are sturdy enough to be easily stacked on each other when storing food in the refrigerator, freezer, and in the cupboard. Because of the plastic material, breakage is not as much of a concern as it is with glass containers.