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Publication numberUS20010045374 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/854,048
Publication dateNov 29, 2001
Filing dateMay 11, 2001
Priority dateMay 17, 2000
Publication number09854048, 854048, US 2001/0045374 A1, US 2001/045374 A1, US 20010045374 A1, US 20010045374A1, US 2001045374 A1, US 2001045374A1, US-A1-20010045374, US-A1-2001045374, US2001/0045374A1, US2001/045374A1, US20010045374 A1, US20010045374A1, US2001045374 A1, US2001045374A1
InventorsEdwin Selker
Original AssigneeSelker Edwin Joseph
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Single-use food package with handle dispenser and applicator
US 20010045374 A1
Abstract
A disposable sealed package with dual distinct functions of containing a consumable product and dispensing it through a knife-like handle. The package allows an individual to consume the product from the container or to dispense and apply it using the knife-like handle. The package seal is lifted from the handle-portion only to use the package as a dispenser and applicator. The package seal is lifted from the containment-portion only to use the package to hold the product for consumption.
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Claims(6)
What I claim is:
1. A sealed package assembly for use in consuming a comestible comprising:
a semi-rigid container holding a comestible and having side walls connected with a continuous planar peripheral flange around its opening, said container further comprising a reservoir region for holding said comestible terminating in an elongated handle region having a hollow portion in communication with said reservoir region;
a sheet of flexible protective material sealed to said flange of said container to serve as a closure for said package assembly;
said sheet having a portion thereof that extends out beyond said peripheral flange of said container in said handle region to allow said sheet to be partially removed from said container in said handle region to permit said comestible to be dispensed when said reservoir region is squeezed.
2. A package assembly as in
claim 1
further characterized by:
said sheet having a portion thereof that extends out beyond said peripheral flange of said container in said reservoir region to permit said sheet to be removed from said container in said reservoir region to gain access to said comestible, to allow items to be dipped into said comestible in said reservoir region.
3. A package assembly as in
claim 1
or
2
wherein said peripheral flange of said container in said handle region is serrated to allow said comestible to be spread.
4. A sealed package assembly for use in consuming a comestible comprising:
a semi-rigid container holding a comestible and having side walls, said container further comprising a reservoir region for holding said comestible terminating in an elongated handle region having a hollow portion in communication with said reservoir region;
a sheet of flexible protective material sealed to the top of said side walls of said container to serve as a closure for said package assembly;
said sheet having a portion thereof that extends out beyond said side walls of said container in said handle region to allow said sheet to be partially removed from said container in said handle region to permit said comestible to be dispensed when said reservoir region is squeezed.
5. A package assembly as in
claim 4
further characterized by:
said sheet having a portion thereof that extends out beyond said side walls of said container in said reservoir region to permit said sheet to be removed from said container in said reservoir region to gain access to said comestible, to allow items to be dipped into said comestible in said reservoir region.
6. A package assembly as in
claim 4
or
5
wherein said side walls of said container in said handle region are connected with a planar peripheral serrated flange to allow said comestible to be spread.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority from the US provisional patent application entitled “Single-use Food Package with Handle Dispenser and Applicator”, Ser. No. 60/204,887, filed May 17, 2000.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In recent years, the fast food and convenience food industries have seen tremendous growth. Single-dose packaging of medicines has also been increasing. With this growth comes the growth of disposable convenience packaging for condiments and other liquid or semi-liquid foods or medicines. These substances are dispensed and applied from single-use hermetically sealed packages. These are typically formed from plastic or plastic coated materials and are either heat sealed or hermetically sealed with a separate lid.

[0005] A difficulty with prior-art containers is that the dispensing of the contents is awkward. For instance, when a disposable ketchup container is squeezed to dispense its contents, it is apt to dispense its contents variably, and not in the desired locations. Spreading the ketchup to the desired locations requires either a separate knife-utensil or use of the unsanitary package surfaces themselves to spread the ketchup.

[0006] The single-use containers and utensils used in the fast food industry are not typically recycled. This causes an additional environmental concern. It is desirable to reduce the number of containers and utensils used.

[0007] The present invention relates to a single-use condiment package with dual distinct functions of containing the condiment and dispensing it evenly and neatly using a handle. The handle is also a sanitary spreader. The package is formed from a plastic or plastic-coated squeezable material and has a separate hermetically sealed lid. The package seal is lifted from the handle-portion only to use the package as a dispenser and sanitary applicator. The package seal is lifted from the containment-portion only to use the package to hold the food product for consumption. In its function as a dispenser and spreader, the seal is lifted from the handle and the containment portion is gently squeezed to deliver the contents. The handle surface below the seal is sanitary and is used to spread the contents to the desired locations. In its second separate function, the seal is lifted from the containment-portion into which french fries or other food products can thereafter be dipped. The disclosed package can be used for contents as thin as pancake or cough syrup or as thick as peanut butter.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

[0008] Disposable plastic-formed food-product containers with a separate hermetically sealed lid are well known. Combination spoon, straw utensils are also known. A dispensing spoon for brewing a beverage when the spoon is immersed in a liquid is known. No prior art known to the applicant describes a disposable package with dual distinct functions of containment and dispensing that uses the handle of a hermetically sealed container to function as a dispenser and sanitary spreader for a food product or medicine.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention discloses a single-use sealed package assembly for food products and medicines with dual distinct functions of containing a substance, and dispensing and applying it evenly, neatly, and sanitarily using a handle. The package has a container with a handle portion formed from plastic or plastic-coated materials and has a separate lid sealed to the container. For food products and medicines it is desirable that the seal be hermetic. The seal is lifted from the containment-portion only for the package to function as a container. The seal is lifted from the handle portion only for the package to function as a dispenser and sanitary applicator. The containment-portion is then squeezed to dispense the substance and the previously sealed edge of the handle is used to apply the substance.

[0010] In a second embodiment, the handle of the package assembly has a serrated edge to serve as a knife. The lid of the package assembly has easy-opening tabs in a third embodiment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The following is a brief description of each of the several drawings:

[0012]FIG. 1 is a view of the filled and hermetically sealed package.

[0013]FIG. 2 is a top view of the unsealed container.

[0014]FIG. 3 is a side view of the filled container with the seal removed from the containment portion.

[0015]FIG. 4 is a side view of the filled container with the seal removed from the handle portion.

[0016]FIG. 5 is a top view of the unsealed container showing a serrated edge along the handle.

[0017]FIG. 6 is a top view of the lid with easy-opening tabs.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018]FIG. 1 shows a dual-function package assembly 100 that has a base 102 and a lid 104. The base 102 has a containment region 106 and a handle region 108. The base 102 is constructed of any of a number of known semi-rigid plastic materials suitable for use with comestibles, such as polyethylene terephthalate(PET) or polypropylene, and is formed by a conventional process such as injection molding. A flange 110 runs along the top exterior circumference of the base 102. The lid 104 is constructed from any of a number of known flexible and peelable plastic or plastic composite materials suitable for use with comestibles, such as mylar or polyester, and is formed by conventional processes. The lid material could be an evaporated aluminum film laminated with a plastic, the evaporated aluminum film protecting the comestible from reaction with the plastic. Typically a label would be printed on the exterior of the lid 104. The package assembly 100 is formed when the base 102 is sealed with the lid 104 using a conventional adhesive 112 deposited on the flange 110. During assembly, the adhesive 112 is applied to either the exterior circumferential flange 110 or the lid 104. A consumable product 114 is placed in the containment region 106, and the lid 104 is pressed against the base 102 and, if desired, heated to activate the adhesive 112.

[0019]FIG. 2 is a top view of the base 102 of the package assembly 100. It shows the flange 110, the containment region 106, and the handle region 108. The handle region 108 has a hollow trough 116 in communication with the containment region 106.

[0020] FIGS. 3 shows the package assembly 100 in use as a container of the consumable product 114. To use the package assembly 100 as a container, the user grips the base 102 and the lid 104 in the containment region 106 and peels the lid 104 apart from the base 102 towards the handle region 108 but stopping before reaching the handle region 108. The user may then dip an external food, such as a french fry, or an item, such as a knife, into the consumable product 114 in the containment region 106, or pour or squeeze the consumable product 114 out of the containment region 106.

[0021]FIG. 4 shows the package assembly 100 in use as a dispenser and applicator. To use the package assembly 100 as a dispenser and applicator, the user grips the base 102 in the containment region 106 and the lid 104 in the handle region 108 and peels the lid 104 apart from the base 102 towards the containment region 106 but stopping before reaching the containment region 106. The user then squeezes the containment region 106, forcing the consumable product 114 into the hollow trough 116 and onto an external surface, using the handle region 108 to aid in applying or spreading the consumable product 114. Both the shape of the containment region 106 and the flexibility of the containment region 106 material contribute to the ease with which the consumable product 114 can be squeezed out of the containment region 106. For a thick or semi-solid consumable product, such as relish or peanut butter, the hollow trough 116 will be wider than that required for more liquid contents such as syrups or liquid cough medicine. For a consumable product 114, such as a liquid cough medicine, a measured individual dosage of the consumable product 114 can be placed into the containment region 106.

[0022]FIG. 5 is atop view of the base 102 of the package assembly 100 in a second embodiment where the handle region 108 has a serrated edge 118 so that the handle region 108 can be used as a knife.

[0023]FIG. 6 is atop view of the lid 104 of the package assembly 100 in a third embodiment where the lid 104 has tabs 120 and 122 to aid the user in opening the package assembly 100. The user grips tab 120 when using the package assembly 100 as a dispenser and applicator. The user grips tab 122 when using the package assembly 100 as a container.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8403161Apr 1, 2011Mar 26, 2013H.J. Heinz CompanyPackage
US8628266 *Apr 21, 2009Jan 14, 2014Edgar Virgil Martin, Jr.Knife with integrated dispenser
US8727149 *Dec 16, 2009May 20, 2014Innovative MoldingContainer with stored scoop
US20130047446 *Aug 29, 2011Feb 28, 2013Adam LefflerSpoon Delivery Device and Method of Manufacturing Same to Improve the Administration of Medicine
WO2006043803A1 *Sep 20, 2004Apr 27, 2006Corsa Beheer BvCombination and method for the preparation of a drink
WO2006067490A2 *Dec 22, 2005Jun 29, 2006Kathleen Amanda ThomsonA pack
WO2013079069A1 *Nov 29, 2012Jun 6, 2013Novopack ApsSpread container
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/542, 206/572, 206/553, 206/229
International ClassificationB65D77/20, A61J7/00, B65D77/24, A61J1/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61J7/0046, B65D77/245, A61J1/067, A61J7/0023, B65D77/2032
European ClassificationB65D77/20E1B, A61J1/06D, B65D77/24B, A61J7/00D2, A61J7/00D8