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food grade vs food safe – what’s the difference?

why do you need to know the difference?

There is lots of different legislation around the world about what materials, containers and substances are suitable for food storage. All of these rules make sure that by the time food gets to us, it’s in the condition it was meant to be in and it’s completely safe to eat. Seems fair, right?

In most countries the rules are pretty much the same – so you don’t need to worry about whether France will have a problem with food bags that are perfectly fine in Australia. When you sell packaged food, you need to know if your packaging is right for what’s inside it.

While you do your research on the best solution for you, you’re bound to come across two phrases: food grade and food safe. While they both sound like they mean the same thing, there’s a subtle difference between the two.

Take notes because there might be a quiz at the end!


what is food grade?

Food grade includes any packaging that is suitable to come into direct contact with food. Food grade materials make sure that whatever is found inside is protected from unwanted substances, unwelcoming to bacteria and free of toxins.

At XOandQuin all of our biodegradable bags and glassine envelopes are made from a food grade material. Usually packaging classified as food grade would be used for anything that is intended to be sold loose (i.e. not in factory sealed packs). An example of a food grade product are the bread bags you see hanging in the bakeries, for your baked goods like cakes and biscuits.

Food grade packaging simply means that it is absolutely fine to use as food storage.


what is food safe?

Food safe packaging is made from food grade material and created for a finished sealed product. When something is food safe it is certified as safe for its intended use. It takes into consideration things like the temperature and length of time the food is stored in its packaging.

Anything removed from food safe packaging cannot be returned once the seal has been broken for hygiene and safety reasons. It’s also vital that the item is stored in suitable conditions, especially if the packaging is also biodegradable.

At XOandQuin we sell one food safe product – Nativia® bags, which are available in factory sealed bags of 250.

can you repeat that?

Food grade: can be used as food storage.

Food safe: food grade and made specifically for the contents found inside.

For most small businesses selling food online or on stalls, food grade packaging will suit your needs. In the instances where you know that food safe packaging is needed to preserve quality, we find that Nativia® bags are the best solution.


can X go in XOandQuin food safe bags?

We would love to make a list of the many foods that you can store in our biodegradable bags, glassine envelopes and Nativia® bags, but the list would literally go on forever.

Our food grade packaging material is suitable for most foods that need to be stored in cool, dry conditions. All of our biodegradable bags and envelopes are self sealing, making them easy to store food in them securely – away from unwanted particles and bacteria. If that sounds like what you need, the only other thing you need to do is find the right size for your goods.

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shop XOandQuin’s eco friendly packaging range for small businesses

shop XOandQuin's food grade and food safe products

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