Food-grade plastic containers for flour storage?

blubirdJune 5, 2008

I've decided to keep about 25 pounds of flour - both bread and AP - on hand. I'm tired of running out and buying 5-10 pounds of flour at a time and always running short - not to mention that the larger quantities are less expensive. I do a fair amount of baking so it wouldn't be LONG term storage.

So...doing some research...I've found that food-grade containers are recommended. While I have some air-tight Tupperware/Rubbermaid containers which hold about 5 pounds each, I thought I'd acquire some which hold at least 10. I've also learned that those nice large pet food containers which would be perfect aren't necessarily 'food grade'. Nice, huh? I know King Arthur sells flour storage containers, but with postage, the 4 containers holding 10 pounds each would be about $70US - not very practical.

So, what storage ideas have you come up with?

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I found some containers at KMart about 7-8 yrs ago that hold 25 lbs of flour. Similar to a tall wastbasket, with a tight lid and handles. Best of grade. They are called Rough Necks by Rubbermade. Maybe they still are around.

Another source might be the containes at a foodservice co. Check your yellow pages, we have GFS retail stores here, they are a huge food service co.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:00PM
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If you have either "The Container Store" or a restaurant supplier in your area both are a good source. I've purchased them in either throughout the years, and have them in various sizes w/o spending a fortune.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I keep almost 20 pounds of rice in a large Lock & Lock container. It is air tight, sits on a shelf and stacks well. $15 on Amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lock & Lock

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:16PM
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Sam's club has some of the large food containers.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 9:23PM
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Ask the people at the bakery department of your supermarket if they will give you used containers they get icing or donut filling in.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 2:13AM
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Fast food restaurants get pickles in them too.
Those might take a little more scrubbing........ :+)


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Thanks for all those great replies. I think I'll start with the supermarket/Sam's club suggestions first for those icing containers- I have a Wegman's right near me! No Container Store or restaurant store anywhere nearby. The only reasonably local one closed awhile back.

Also interesting, I'd found those Iris brand pet food containers online which were well-shaped and were well-priced, so I had written to Iris' customer service last night. I received a reply almost immediately (!) at 9:30 last night (!). The response stated that the pet food containers were "are made with Food and Drug Administration Compliant Materials". Not quite sure what that response means, but I did right back to find out if that meant that they were safe for humans, too - no reply yet - will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 1:11AM
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Blubird, you could check the FDA web site about their compliant materials description. They probably are food grade. Another source might be school cafeterias. Surely they receive food in large containers.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 1:35AM
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Pretty much any store that prepares food--restaurants, delis, bakeries--gets some ingredients in containers large enough for what you want. The tricky part is, that some of them have lids that lock on, and you need a special tool to get them off. Still worth a shot though

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:18PM
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Whoo..hoo! You guys ROCK! Went to Wegman's and got 2 icing containers - FREE!! They're 15 litre containers - hold just about 20 pounds of flour. That's the ultimate in recycling. I guess I get some carbon offset credits, too! Sam's club would have been next on my list.

The pickle containers would have worked too, but since in my collection I have plastic containers which originally held great sour pickles, I have to tell you there seems to be no way to get that 'pickle' odor totally gone. Pickle-flavored flour probably wouldn't be too appetizing :->. (Unless I was making a rye bread, of course!)

If the free sources didn't pan out, the next choice would have been those Lock & Lock containers 'cotehele' suggested. The Rubbermaid Rough Neck don't seem to be available in food storage containers any more. Rubbermaid does have commercial food storage bins which look great but are mucho expensive for my needs.

Many thanks to all those who responded. These forums are so great.

Helene in NJ

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 2:38PM
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As a confirmed pickler, I've had to deal with the issue of odors in food-grade plastic containers.

For any recyclers here, these are the instructions I use for removing odors from re-purposed plastic containers. They come from USA Emergency Supply.

 Wash the bucket inside and out with warm, soapy water, then rinse.
 Place the bucket outside in a sunny location.
 Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the bucket and fill with warm water all the way to the top. Stir to dissolve, then put on the lid, or cover with aluminum foil.
 Let the bucket sit in the sun for several days, then empty and rinse out.
 Pour 1 cup of bleach into the bucket and fill with warm water all the way to the top. Stir to mix, then put on the lid, or cover with
aluminum foil.
 Let the bucket sit in the sun for several days, then empty.
 Wash again inside and out with warm water and dishwashing liquid, then let dry with the lid off.

P.S. If you find the soda does the job, you can skip the bleach, but I've found that's a great sanitation strategy when I've marinated turkey, etc. in a plastic bucket.


Here is a link that might be useful: USA Emergency Supply Food Storage FAQ's

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 11:05PM
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That's great that you got the containers for free. If, however that doesn't work out for some of you or others that are logging in I had a suggestion. Call a local donut shop. I have one by me and they don't give them away, but they do sell them. I got mine for only $1.75 which isn't bad at all. I can get about 26lbs of wheat berries in it. You have to clean them out, but it's worth it. I use them for long term storage but do rotate them. I use about 2oz of dry ice in the bottom to make it airtight and bug free. I've also heard they sell them at Home Depot for around $4.00? You would have to check that out though (you wouldn't have to wash them much though which is a bonus), that's just what the lady at the donut shop had told us. Happy storing!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:24PM
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