Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) and foil laminate pouches are exceptional food containers. The polyethyene (PET) layer is food-grade plastic with no known toxicities. The foil layer dramatically reduces the transmission of oxygen and moisture through the film. One trade name is Mylar and its often used as a generic name.
Glass canning jars with screw-on lids
All glass jars used to can foods work well for storing dry foods provided a tight sealing lid is used, e.g. Mayonnaise jars. However, only mason-type canning jars can be used for canning foods in jars. Be sure jars are thoroughly cleaned of all previous food residue before using it for food storage.
Plastic (PETE) Bottles
PETE is the same plastic in foil pouches molded to form rigid bottles. The bottles are identified on the bottom, next to the recycle emblem, with the letters PET or PETE. This type of container has good oxygen barrier qualities and can be used with oxygen absorbers to store bulk dry foods. The low oxygen content of the sealed containers protects the stored food from insect infestation and helps preserve product quality. These containers are well suited for products that are rotated on a regular basis, while still providing many years of storage capability. Use only PETE bottles that have been previously commercially packaged with food. Bottles need to have screw-on lids with plastic, not paper or foam, lid seals. Verify that the lid seal will not leak air by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. Wash and rinse bottles to remove any residue. Drain and dry bottles. Place an oxygen absorber packet into each bottle. Fill bottles with bulk dry products that are low in moisture and oil content. Wipe top sealing edge clean. Screw lids on tightly. Tape the lid edge to prevent loosening.
1 21 CFR 177
2 FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-indt.html
3 Castle, L. Migration of Polyethylene Terephthalate PET Oligomers from PET Plastics into Foods During Microwave and Conventional Cooking and into Bottled Beverages. Journal of Food Protection; 1989, 52 (5): 337-342.
4 Packaging Materials: 1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) for Food Packaging Applications. International Life Sciences Institute; 2000, Washington, DC, p. 11.
5 White Paper on Refillable Plastic Packaging Made from PET (Polyethylene Phthalate). International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) – North America; 1994, p.58.