Steel drums are one of the most versatile forms of industrial packaging. While they are most commonly associated with storing fuel or oil, they can be just as effective when it comes to food storage.
But it’s important to ensure that your steel drums are food-grade metal barrels. When storing goods destined for eating and drinking, you need to keep drums clean, avoid contamination and follow food hygiene standards.
If you’re planning to use steel drums as food-grade metal barrels, the experts at ITP Packaging are here to explain how to prepare them for food storage.
What Items Will You Require to Prepare Your Steel Drum for Food Storage?
For health safety, it’s important that you follow the correct procedures when preparing steel drums for food storage. After all, you don’t want your customers getting ill because food has been incorrectly stored.
To prepare steel drums for food storage, you’ll need the following:
- A food-grade steel drum or metal barrel
- A food-grade drum liner
- Appropriate cleaning products
The most important thing is to ensure that your steel drums are food-grade metal barrels. If you’re purchasing a steel drum as new, then this should come as standard. However, you can’t purchase repurposed steel drums for food storage, as they cannot be certified as ‘food-grade’. To protect your food from any contamination once it’s being stored, you can also equip the drums with food-grade drum liners and keep them regularly cleaned.
What Process Is Required to Clean the Drum?
It’s important that you only store food in food-grade metal barrels that have only ever been used for storing food or beverage in the past. Never reuse a drum for food storage that once held chemicals, oils or anything else that could potentially prove harmful to human health.
It’s equally important to clean your food-grade steel drums after every use, even if you’re storing the same food products inside. Food can quickly go off, so barrels need to be free from contamination before they’re reused. The cleaning process usually involves hosing down drums with water, and then disinfecting them with products that won’t cause any further contamination or harm to humans.
Which Drum Liner Is Best for Food Storage?
Drum liners are a great way to give your food products an extra layer of protection. Drum liners are placed inside the steel drum, ensuring that the products don’t physically touch the sides of the drum. This keeps food fresh and stops any contamination from occurring.
There are several different types of drum liner available, and you need to be certain that the liner you pick is also certified as food-grade, just as the steel drum should be. The best option is generally the Food Grade Formed Drum Liner, which is designed to fit a standard industrial-sized drum with a capacity of 200 litres.
What Are the Laws Regarding Food Storage?
In the UK, the Food Standards Agency details the laws and regulations that must be followed regarding food storage. The key regulations you need to follow when storing food or drink for human consumption are detailed in Acts of Parliament such as the Food Standards Act 1999 and the Food Safety Act 1990.
The laws that are directly applicable to your business depend on which food items you are storing in food-grade metal barrels. For example, there are different requirements for storing meat products as opposed to vegetable products.
You’ll need to consider where your products are being stored, if they need to be stored in a refrigerator or freezer, and how long they can legally be stored. You can find out more information on the Food Standards Agency website.
Broadly speaking, food standards ensure that food is stored in such a way that, when consumed, it’s not harmful to human health. Food containers must also be properly labelled and food must be of a quality that customers would expect from the labelled items.
Contact ITP Packaging to Find Out More Food-Grade Metal Barrels and Steel Drums
Steel drums can find excellent use as food-grade metal barrels that are well suited to safely storing food and beverage products. For health and safety, it’s important to ensure that you follow proper procedures when preparing your steel drums for food storage.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to safely prepare food-grade metal barrels for storage and transport of food and drink, the expert team at ITP Packaging are ready to help. Contact our friendly staff today to find out more.