I’ve written about some of the concerns and claims around the safety of plastic bags when used for low-heat sous vide cooking. While my prefered method involves FoodSaver vacuum sealed bags, they are pricier than sealable freezer bags. So what exactly is deal with Ziplocs? Are they safe?
They also provide links to independent testers for your own research:
- Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database »
- International Fragrance Association (IFRA) »
- CosmeticsInfo.org »
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration Product and Ingredient Safety »
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System »
- GoodGuide consumer products resource »
- TOXNET of the National Library of Medicine »
So what’s in a Ziploc freezer bag (the kind I most commonly use when I’m not using the FoodSaver bags)? According to Ziploc:
Polyethylene-Low Density is a polymer that can be used to form a plastic bag and its zip closure. It is part of the Polyethylene (PE) family, which is the most widely used plastic. Polyethylene-Low Density, also known as LDPE, is commonly used in rigid plastic containers. We use a mix of different polyethylene densities to get the ideal strength and flexibility for different bag types. It is approved for use in products that come into direct contact with food. Polyethylene-Low Density can withstand both heat and freezing.
Polyethylene-Linear Low Density
Polyethylene-Linear Low Density is a polymer that can be used to form a plastic bag and its zip closure. It is part of the Polyethylene (PE) family, which is the most widely used plastic. Polyethylene-Linear Low Density, also known as LLDPE, is commonly used in packaging, containers and wraps such as bubble wraps. We use a mix of different polyethylene densities to get the ideal strength and flexibility for different bag types. It is approved for use in products that come into direct contact with food. Polyethylene-Linear Low Density can withstand both heat and freezing.
And here’s what’s not in them:
- Alkylphenols (APs)
- Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs)
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Nitro musks
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- Phthalates including DEP, DBP, DIBP, DPP and DEHP
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Or any known carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins listed by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the European Union’s REACH and Substances of Very High Concern programs, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Carcinogens, or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Read more about the threats posed, the properties of plastic, and why I feel comfortable using them here.