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Can You Freeze Food In Sandwich Bags?

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sandwich bags are undoubtedly convenient, allowing you to store portions or small amounts of food efficiently and securely. But you may have wondered whether they are suitable for storing food in the freezer. Let’s consider the pros and cons of doing so…

Sandwich Bags for the Freezer

Can You Freeze Food In Sandwich Bags?

Yes, you can freeze food in sandwich bags, though it’s best to look for those that specify they are for use in the freezer to ensure your food is kept in optimum condition. Disposable sandwich bags aren’t great for the environment, so choose reusable options.

Is It Safe to Freeze Food in Sandwich Bags?

When considering the safety of sandwich bags, it’s important to distinguish what material they are made from. Recently, there have been concerns about the possible risks of chemicals leaching from plastics into our food.

There has been little evidence that this is actually the case, and the use of plastics in the food industry is heavily regulated. 

However, there is some evidence that chemicals could potentially leach into food when plastics come into contact with food while it is heating or foods with high-fat content, so if you are concerned, avoid using plastic sandwich bags in these scenarios.

Alternatively, consider non-plastic alternatives. Reusable silicon storage bags are becoming more affordable, and the fact they are reusable makes them better for the environment too. They are also safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave.

Are Plastic Sandwich Bags Dangerous?

Most sandwich bags are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) which does not contain harmful chemicals like BPA or phthalates. However, it’s always best to check the packaging for any specific safety information.

What are the Benefits of Freezing Food in Sandwich Bags?

Sandwich bags are a great option for storing food in the freezer.

One reason is that they allow you to freeze food in small portions. Small portions freeze faster, which helps to retain the freshness, plus they defrost faster, saving you time when you come to use them.

Air is the enemy when it comes to freezing food. Air trapped inside the storage container with the food can encourage freezer burn, whereas if you use sandwich bags, you can squeeze all the air out, making it more likely you will be able to keep your food in optimum condition.

Top Tips for Freezing Food in Sandwich Bags

Not all sandwich bags are created equally. That’s why it’s important to consider these tips when choosing and using sandwich bags for storing food in the freezer:

Fit for Purpose

Make sure you choose sandwich bags which are fit for purpose. To keep your food in its best condition, you need to choose bags that are going to keep the moisture in, so choose those that specify they are for use in the freezer.

Look for Resealable Fastening

Bags with tie handles aren’t going to give an airtight seal, so look for bags with a resealable fastening.

As noted above, it’s important to get as much air as you can out of the bag before putting it in the freezer. A great tip for this is to submerge the bag in a basin of water. Place your food into the food bag then slowly lower the open bag into the water.

As soon as the food itself is submerged, the pressure of the water will wrap around the filled section of the bag, squeezing any excess air out, and then you can seal the bag.

Find a Suitable Pen

Make sure you’ve got a pen that will write on plastic and won’t get rubbed off in the freezer, so you can label each bag with what’s inside and the date you froze it.

Are Sandwich Bags and Freezer Bags the Same?

While similar in appearance, sandwich bags and freezer bags are not the same. Freezer bags are thicker and designed to prevent freezer burn, while sandwich bags are thinner and not as effective at preserving food in the freezer.

What are the Drawbacks of Freezing Food in Sandwich Bags?

The main drawback is that most sandwich bags are single-use and are made from plastic, meaning they are bad for the environment.

While you could wash and reuse disposable sandwich bags, they are not designed for it, so it is hard to get them properly clean and they aren’t sturdy enough to cope with repeated use.

Which Foods Freeze Well in Sandwich Bags?

Sandwich bags are a great option for storing soups, sauces and stocks. You can freeze individual portions, making them quick and convenient to defrost, and once frozen flat you can stack them or line them up and they take up less space than lots of oddly sized tubs and containers.

To do this, place a bag in a mug, with the opening folded over the sides of the mug and fill it with your soup, stock or sauce. Carefully fill the bag, making sure to allow a little room at the top, then squeeze the air out and seal it shut. Lay the bag down in the freezer to freeze.

You can even freeze ‘squishy’ things like berries in sandwich bags. Start by spreading them out on a baking tray and placing the tray in the freezer until the berries have frozen solid. This will prevent them from sticking together in clumps. Once frozen, you can pour them into a sandwich bag.

Sandwich bags are also great for freezing portions of baked goods, like crumpets, bagels and bread rolls.

Rather than putting the whole packet in the freezer, and then having to struggle to pry them apart when you want to eat them, put a couple in a sandwich bag, and then you can defrost as many as you want.

Sandwich bags are also a great option for freezing portions of meat. The plastic wrap that meat comes in when you buy it at the supermarket isn’t designed for long-term storage, and over time moisture will leach out through the packaging, leading to freezer burn.

To avoid this, when placing supermarket-bought meat in the freezer, it’s a good idea to repackage it, and sandwich bags are a good choice for that. Sandwich bags are also useful if you buy a multipack of meat and want to freeze it in smaller portions.

Sources

We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

CBS News

The Sun

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