Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are very popular in bulk storage solutions. They are used to house food and water for long-term storage.
An IBC tote is food-grade if the packaging says so. The bottom of the tote usually has a sign that it says it’s food-grade, located beside the signs that indicate it’s recyclable and plastic.
ICS totes are very affordable and durable, making them good containers for your doomsday stash. They are also reliable for safely transporting your goods from point A to point B without damaging the contents.
What Does It Mean To Be “Food-Grade”?
A food-grade container means that all of its components were manufactured with ingredients that are safe for human consumption. These materials are also deemed to be safe to make contact with human food. That means there won’t be any chemical residues that can compromise your food and negatively affect your health.
Food-grade doesn’t automatically mean food-safe, especially if you used the food-grade container to store something that’s not food-safe. For example, it’s not ideal to use an IBC tote to store petroleum and then use the same container for food. Some of the toxic components may adhere to the surface. This will leave traces that can contaminate food products and be harmful to consumers.
Check For The Food-Grade Status
This is the most obvious way to tell if an IBC tote is food-grade. The packaging must indicate that the manufacturers guarantee their food-grade status. The IBC tote must be made with food-grade materials like high-density polyethylene and steel.
Being food-grade also means that the plastic has no harmful and toxic components like bisphenol A or BPA. BPA is known to cause heart problems, fertility issues, and other health conditions.
How To Choose The Correct Size
IBC totes typically come in two size options: 275 gallons and 330 gallons. The size you choose depends on the amount of food or beverage you wish to store. Smaller totes are good for a small family’s stash of emergency food and water. Go bigger if you anticipate a longer emergency or if you have more members in the family.
Another factor that will affect the size is the storage space you have. 275-gallon totes are good for typical home bunkers. Use the 330-gallon totes if you have the space for it or if you have a separate warehouse.
It’s best to choose a tote that you can actually fill up. Filling them only halfway is inadvisable because this can cause the tote to topple on its side and spill its contents.
Brand-New Or Used?
Brand-new food grade IBC totes will cost a fortune, but that also means you can rest easy knowing that your food and water reserves are safe. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, go for used IBC totes.
There are two main types of used IBC totes: reconditioned and non-reconditioned. Reconditioned tanks, as the name suggests, pertain to refurbished IBC totes. They have been used before but they are reconditioned to become durable again. They also undergo rigorous testing to make sure that they still work well and are still capable of housing food and water.
A non-reconditioned tank is cheaper but not as durable as reconditioned tanks. You also need to rigorously clean them to ensure that there are no foreign particles left behind. It’s still better to buy reconditioned tanks because they’re safer and more fortified. The surfaces are also cleaned thoroughly so that they can still be reused even after storing toxic and hazardous products.
Benefits Of Using IBC Totes
IBC totes are a step-up from using food buckets and other plastic containers. These totes are specifically designed for long-term and bulk storage. There are more benefits to using them.
Easy To Transport
IBC totes are easy to transport because of their attached pallet. These are durable metal cages that insulate the contents while keeping the tote safe. The pallets make the totes easy to transport with a forklift.
IBS totes are recommended for efficient storage. They are stackable so they can maximize limited floor spaces.
You can also use IBC totes for storing water. For more information on that, check out this video