Letter Re: Reusing Restaurant Food Ingredient Containers

Mr Rawles,
I’ve been thinking a lot about storing food like grains in the olive containers that get thrown out at the restaurant where I’m currently working. There made of what I assume to be food grade plastic (olive storage) and looks like they store about 7-to-8 liters. The lid is made of two pieces and has a rubber seal. If I were to wash these off a bit do you think they would serve as long term food containers?
Thanks, – Paul from Canada

JWR Replies: Those containers should be fine, since they are doubtless made of food grade plastic. Just be sure to inspect the seals to make sure that they are pliable and intact. Most of these olive buckets, barrels and tubs are made of HDPE. Since there is a slight chance of the odors from original contents permeating your grain, I recommend that you thoroughly clean the containers. (Via repeated soaking with hot, soapy water) Also, be sure to use use a mylar liner bag in each container . These liners are available in various sizes from Nitro-Pak. BTW, the same company also has a good reputation as a supplier for freshly-made oxygen absorbing packets that are properly sealed well for shipment.