Pros: Bags continue to be effective for non-heated foods.
Cons: Thinner mil could cause safety concerns, seams unreliable with liquids hotter than 160deg F
I've owned a food saver Pro II for years and until recently have swore by the bags for use with the machine. The bags have been provided a variety of uses. From sauces not only in the form of left-overs from a meal but in larger production day's to make things for future use but also to Cryovac meats adding more "age" to them, . I can remember when I first started purchasing the bags. They were virtually indestructible. Even the sharp edge of a bone from a ham shoulder would not even cause the bag to fail. I never had a bag fail when in the freezer because of a pin hole and the self made seal was as indestructible as the factory made one. I could even take my sauces like marinara and Italian meat or stews and soups and go from simmer to portioned bag with out blinking an eye. It wasn't because I was trying to use the bag in place of a jar for preserving but because I felt the added heat helped to eliminate any nasty germs that may be lingering.
Over the hyears, there has been a slight perception that the bags were changing. I'm not usre why I felt this but maybe it was because nmore and more bags were failing to hold their seal in the freezer and refrigerator. Then just recently I purchased a box of new bags and found the quality of the bag to be severely lacking. The thickness or mil of the bag seems to have become thinner and it's most apparent on the clear side of the bag. I was able to confirm this with the remnents of a roll that was purchased last year.
Then while portioning some marinara, the factory seam split completely on one bag and was reduced on another. The bags were also melting to themselves while trying to fill them. It was happening to the clear side more frequently but it did happen to the diamond-plate side as well.
Because of these things, I figured I would adjust my technique and let things cool to under 140 deg. Then I tried portioning marinara again a couple weeks later but this time the self made seal split wide open 10 minutes after it had been sealed and double checked. I have never had any seal fail as they have the last two times I have used the bags for this purpose and we're talking hundreds of gallons of Marinara and other soups, stocks and sauces over the years.
I'm sure the bags are very effective for foods that will be refrigerated and never see heat but that was not the only premise the FoodSaver and it's bags were sold on. It also doesn't make sense to explore another source and then keep two sets of bags on hand....one for hot and one for cold.....just to buy bags from FoodSaver.
I'm not sure what the folks at Jarden or Sunbeam are thinking but if I had to guess the plastic was reduced in mil to cut costs. It's great to make choices like this if it's in the best interest of the product or the image of the company, unfortunately, and in this humble reviewers opinion, the cost cutting measure does nothing to improve either and it may cost them dearly in the long run. I can't imagine what would happen if some poor soul of a consumerreheat food in a newer bag and they end up having a seam split and end up dumping scalding hot food all over themselves or a loved one.
It's time to stop making changes like this. If not for the good of the image but for the safety of your loyal consumers.