There’s a lot of ways to contain food. In North America and in other regions too, having a collection of Tupper ware is often seen as a form of passage into adulthood. But different containers do different things, and there’s an impressive menagerie of reasons to use tamper evident food containers that tell you clearly at a glance when the container is sealed – or unsealed.
Consider this scenario: you leave food in a lidded container in the fridge, sealed up as tightly as you possibly can. Then overnight, your housemate opens the container to get a piece of food out of it and doesn’t put it back on right. With most containers, your housemate might be excused for this, since it can be hard to see. And that means you might not see that the container was open in the fridge all night, either.
Disaster from the least likely places
When the container itself isn’t carefully stored, the picture gets worse. Let’s say you keep a cat’s food in its container, leave it for three days, and give it a matching supply of food. While you’re out, the cat decides it wants even more food and bumps the container, exposing it to the elements and reducing the food’s freshness. Depending on the container, the top might still “stick on” even if it’s no longer airtight!
Dealing with tampered food
Not every instance of this sort of thing is going to be courting disaster. Slightly stale cat food and a single night in the fridge are one thing. But not knowing for sure whether raw meat has been opened is a different story. In some cases, the only way you can tell is by the time you start cooking it, or if you have a very keen nose. However, you do this if food is left tampered for any period of time, you can lose time just replacing it, to say nothing of time you might spend cooking with food that was spoiled all along.
Knowledge: the most powerful protection
In the end, the best way to deal with this is to use containers that tell you, before you even touch them, whether they’re sealed or unsealed. These are technically called tamper evident food containers, and they come in all shapes and sizes, for all types of food storage needs. The actual method of tamper-proofing the container varies, from visible prongs in a clear lidded container to heavier seals that make it obvious when you are breaking or replacing the seal. Tamper evident food containers are used all throughout the food and grocery industries, and they have a useful place in homes of all sizes as well.