US 3671271 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 20, 1972 MlLLER 3,671,271
PACKAGE" FOR SLICED BACON Filed Feb. 26, 1969 7 i 1mm 7.. /4 fiw/va/vfl/ /z H /5 BY TM N .7 @A /6 /3 x z ,qrr lam ins 3,671,271 PACKAGE FOR SLICEDBACON Harmon B. Miller, Atlanta, Ga., asslpor to Reclosable Package Corp Atlanta, Ga. Filed Feb. 26, 1969, Ser. No. 802,491 Int. Cl. B65b 25/06 US. Cl. 99-174 8 Claims I ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A package for bacon slices and slices of other kinds of luncheon meat comprising a corrugated plastic tray having across its surface alternating elongated ribs and grooves. The slices are placed against the corrugations with one edge adjacent the corrugations and the other edge extending outwardly so that the slices are inclined with respect to the tray. The outwardly extending edges of the respective slices are in overlapping contact with adjacent slices. The edges adjacent the tray are spaced from each other and are free to move into the grooves of the corrugations. This reduces the area of contact between adjacent slices and makes it easier to separate the slices.
The present invention relates to a package for sliced bacon and like food products and more particularly to a package having a corrugated plastic support member for the bacon to reduce the sticking of adjacent layers.
Bacon is a cured pork product ordinarily sold in slices about 9-12 inches long, 1% to 2 inches wide and about 0.075 to 0.15 inch thick. In almost all cases, sliced bacon is prepackaged, in fiat rectangular packages comprising front and back rectangular boards joined at their edges.
The slices have a tendency to stick together and therefore it is customary to package them inclined with respect to the fiat rear board with each layer overlapping the next. This arrangement reduces the area of contact between adjacent slices and makes it easier for the purchaser to separate them. In some cases the front board is partly removed to provide a window which is covered with a transparent plastic. This exposes part of each slice of bacon to permit the purchaser to inspect its lean meat.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide improvements in this type of package by reducing the area of contact between the slices of bacon and thereby further reduce the effort required to separate slices.
Briefly, the invention provides a bacon package of the above type having a corrugated board backing on which the bacon slices are supported. By this means, the flexible bacon slices are supported at spaced points rather than by a flat board and some portions of slices sag into depressions in the corrugations to separate them from adjacent slices.
The invention will be better understood by reference to the drawings in which FIG. 1 is a perspective of the package;
FIG. 2 is a cross section showing how bacon slices are supported; and
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a bacon tray or board for use in a package.
The package as illustrated comprises a box 1 and a tray or board 2. The box 1 is rectangular, comprising a flat top 3 having a transparent plastic window 4, sides 5 and 6 and a bottom (not seen). The ends are closed by a flap 7 at one end and a similar flap (not seen) at the other end. The tray 2 is a corrugated sheet of plastic which slides into the carton, resting on the bottom, which supports the bacon ,slices. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the tray 2 has a plurality of corrugations in the form of equally Ice Patented June 20, 1972 spaced elongated parallel upward protrusions 8 separated bacon slices being parallel with the corrugations. The
bacon slices are laid parallel to each other, with each slice partly overlapping the next.
As can be seen in FIG. 3, some of the baconsllces are supported on the upward protrusions 8. Where the edges of slices are above the recesses 9, they tend to sag. For example, when the edge of a slice is above the lowest point of a recess, it sags fairly deeply into the recess. The next slice preferably is similarly placed with respect to the next recess. Therefore, the area of contact between adjacent slices is reduced.
Perhaps more important, the lower edge 10 of each slice is not touching the slice above. Therefore, the separation of adjacent slices is started." If one considers the separating of adjacent slices in a conventional bacon package, it will be recognized that the first step is to pry an edge of one slice from the middle of the next slice. Then the separation already started is continued. By
virtue of the package of this invention, the first step be- V V comes unnecessary. This reduces the elfort needed to separate adjacent slices and the risk of tearing slices when separating them. Additionally, the curvature or slope of the inclined portion of the corrugation tends to contact the bacon; by increasing the area of contact, the slight stickiness of the bacon to the tray helps hold a slice down while the adjacent slice is lifted.
The package also provides an advantage when it is evacuated and/ or flushed with an inert gas such as nitrogen in the known manner. That is, by providing open space around each slice of meat, it is easier for the inert gas to surround the meat and displace air. Also, when carbon;
dioxide is used, it is absorbed and tends to suppress spoiling. However, it must be absorbed rapidly in each slice of bacon. The increase in open space between slices therefore increases the effectiveness of the carbon dioxide. It will be appreciated, also, that absorption of carbon dioxide tends to create a partial vacuum in the package which may cause bacon slices in an ordinary package to be pressed together, increasing still more the effort to separate slices. However, this elfort is counteracted bythe arrangement of slices in the present invention.
The corrugated sheet 7 is constructed of-a smoothrecesses and the tops of the protrusions as seen in FIG. 2.
The dimension a shown therein will be referred to as the width of the protrusion, and, in the preferred embodiment, this will be A,; to as inch. The dimension b shown therein will be designated the width of the recess, and, in
the preferred embodiment, this will be ,4 to Pi; inch. These dimensions can be varied, preferably only i50% in widths a and b. It is possible to reduce the recess depth a bit, perhaps about 25% and to increase it perhaps 50 to However, increasing the depth too much, without a corresponding increase inthe width of the protrusions and recesses is undesirable because the slope of the inclined portions of the corrugations becomes relatively more steep than desired.
The preferred form of the tray 2 is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. It is comprised of a bottom 12 having the corrugated shape described above, end walls 13 and side walls--13'1,--'an upper flange 14 extending laterally from thetop-ofsideavalls-lill, an outer wall 15 anda-=lower flange 16. The flanges and outer wall contribute a degree of rigidity to the tray which otherwise might be too flexible because of the corrugations. In addition, it
. provides a kind of handle for grasping the tray.
An important feature of the preferred tray is that the corrugations continue up the end walls 13, across the -.upper flange and down-the, outer walls. This contributes some flexibility to the end walls and the portions of the upp r flange and-outer walls-adjacent to them. Therefore, this construction permits a limited or controlled bending of the board about an axis parallel to the corrugations, to facilitate removing slices.
It will be appreciated that the corrugated tray may have other shape, or may constitute an integral part of a package.
The invention is in principle applicable to fatty food products other than bacon which are sold asthin flexible rectangular slices. However,at present bacon is the only product of this type in wide distribution. Other products such as sliced luncheon meats, e.g., bologna and salami, or cheese have properties similar to bacon. and advantageously can be packaged in the same way.
. What isclaimed is:
,1. A sliced meat package containing a plastic tray having a corrugated surface having alternating elongated ribs and grooves, about ,4 to 98 inch 'wide, said grooves being fl to inch deep, and a stackof rectangular bacon slices, each having a pair of parallel long edges, the slices resting on the corrugations of said tray parallel to said ribs and grooves, the slices being positioned so that one long edge of each slice is adjacent the corrugated surface and spaced from the long edge of the next adjacent slice which is adjacent said corrugated surface and each slice is inclined outwardly from said corrugated surface to its other long edge which is in overlapping contact with the next adjacent slice in the stack, whereby the long edge adjacent the said corrugated surface of substantially each slice is free to separate from the next adjacent slice and rest loosely within one of said grooves facilitating removal of individual slices.
2. A sliced meat package as set forth in claim 1 in which said corrugated tray is enclosed laterally by erect sidewalls.
3. A sliced meat package as set forth in claim 2 in which the ribs and grooves extend up said sidewalls at opposite ends of the tray, to permit bending said tray 5. A sliced meat package as set forth in claim 2 in which the ribs-and'-"grooves extend-"up said sidewalls about an axis parallel to said ribs and grooves and facilitate removal of sliced meat.
-4. A sliced meat package as set forth in claim 2 including a flange etxending laterally outwardly from the tops of said sidewalls.
and across said flange at opposite ends of the tray, to permit bending said tiay about an axis parallel to said ribs and grooves and facilitate removal of sliced meat.
6. A sliced meat package asset forth in claim 1 including a box enclosing said tray.
7. A sliced meat package 'as set 'forth'in claim 1 including wall'members secured to said tray and forming, with said tray as one wall, an enclosed package.
8. In a method of making a package by placing meat on a plastic tray comprising a corrugated surface having elongated ribs and grooves; p v
the improvement wherein said meat comprises rectangular bacon slices each having a pair of parallel longedges and the slices are placed in a stack resting-on the corrugations of said tray, with the slices parallel to said ribs and grooves and positioned so that one long edge of each slice is placed adjacent the corrugated surface and spaced from the long edge of the next adjacent slice which is adjacent said corrugated surface and each-slice is inclined outwardly from said corrugated surface to its other long edge which is placed in overlapping contact with, the next adjacent slicein the stack, and with .the long edges'adjacent the said corrugated surface of substantially each slice being free to separate from the next adjacent slice and rest loosely within one of said grooves, facilitating "removal of individual slices.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1966 Great Britain.
FRANK W. LUTTER, Primary Examiner R. HALPER, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
9917l TC; 20646 F; 22987 F