I called Gerber after seeing the #7 on the bottom of their containers. #7 usually indicates BPA (bisphenol-A), the harmful substance found in polycarbonate plastics. Look at the bottom of all plastic containers. If the recycle symbol contains a #7, avoid it. Most hard plastics are made from polycarbonate. #7 could also mean the plastic is a combination of 2 other types of plastics. This is the case with Gerber’s baby food containers.
Gerber’s containers do not contain BPA, but that does not mean they are safe. It does say #7 on the bottom, but it is a mix of #1 and #6. #6 is styrofoam, which you still want to avoid. Please see this handout for a guide to safer plastic usage for your family.
The concern for plastic chemicals leaching into foods is heightened when the plastic is heated — regardless of the plastic type. Jarred or canned food is typically heated during the canning process. So, the risk is already there before its on the store shelves. If you heat leftover baby food in this container, you are again increasing the risk for leaching. I would recommend avoiding these Gerber plastic containers.
For baby food, I highly recommend Earth’s Best. It’s organic so you are limiting your baby’s exposure to harmful pesticides and the food comes in a glass jar – the safest type of storage container as it does not leach. Del Monte’s Nature’s Goodness and Beech Nut baby foods also come in glass jars. You can also make your own baby food using organic products. I have used very little Gerber baby food and now I am so glad I did and will avoid it like the plague for future children.