When storing your food storage, we are told to make sure it's in a food grade container. What does that mean and how can we tell?
A food grade container is one that will not transfer non-food chemicals into the food and contains no chemicals which would be hazardous to human health. If you are uncertain whether a container is food-grade or not then contact the manufacturer and ask if a particular container is approved for food use.
Your best bet is to buy containers that you know food was already stored in previously. Like a local bakery has buckets that have had frosting or fillings in them. They will sell these for couple bucks if you call ahead.
But if you are buying, here are some tips:
High density polyethylene buckets may have HDPE stamped on them, or a recycle symbol with a "2" in the middle. You can also look for plastic containers made from polycarbonate, polyester or polyethylene. Plastic storage containers are the most popular types of containers to store dry goods.
For storing dry foods metal cans work great, but they tend to be more expensive than plastic containers, take specialized equipment to use (glass jars also needs special equipment to store food), can be hard to come by and they can only be sealed once. For these reasons, metal cans are not the most popular solution. Unfortunately, metal cans can rust from both the inside and out.
Vacuum pouches also take special equipment to work with, but once sealed properly the last for a long time.
Compared to metal cans glass jars are very stable, but they don't handle being dropped or bumped hard very well. The biggest advantage that glass jars have is the ability to be reused over and over again, but it does take specialized equipment.