What makes a bucket food grade?

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I realize this must have been addressed here before, but I have spent hours in the archives and cannot find what I am looking for. Just exactly what is it that makes a bucket food grade? I realize one from the bakery is food grade because it had food in it.

Someone posted before that WalMart sold white 5 gal. buckets in their paint dept. for painting. They had called the manuf. and was told that those buckets were considered food grade. I called and was told no they are not. I am confused! Any help would be appreciated. Mary

-- Mary Howe (doesnotmatter@thistime.com), March 20, 1999


I don't have an answer for you on the buckets. But as a mention, a guy I knew who ran a candle store told me the difference between wax from one place vs. another was very different because china, for example, dumped toxic waste into their wax as a way of getting rid of it. So he wasn't fond of candles and wax from China and said it wasn't as good, besides the potential implications of that. Maybe plastic, like wax, has different raw materials and some would be dangerous if they "leeched into" foodstuffs. A guess.

There was a specific brand of paint bucket people mentioned as being at WalMart. Be sure the one you're calling on is that brand. You can find it in the threads somewhere in the last week.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), March 20, 1999.

"Contico" and "Letica" brand white buckes/lids are food grade, others probably aren't - check with mfr.

-- sparks (wireless@home.com), March 20, 1999.

Mary, Hi!..I found a couple of sites with info that might help...from the WALTON page...


and from EcoWeb....


When in doubt, look on the bottom of the container for the triangle with a number and letters code. Compare to the list at the EcoWeb site and make your choice. I hope this helps!....

\/\/illis in OKC, OK

-- Willis (justforthe@record.net), March 20, 1999.

Get buckets from Ice cream stores, bakerys, deli's, fish and chip places ect. Any bucket that stores food commercially. I also have about 50 coffee tins. Good to put grain in so the mice can't get at it. And they will.

-- Brian (imager@ampsc.com), March 20, 1999.

Plastic Storage Containers - What to use? HDPE, which stands for High Density Polyethylene, is the only material food grade buckets are made from. They do have to be FDA approved food grade HDPE buckets to be appropriate for food storage.

Plastic buckets that are not food grade "outgasses" and leaches out into the container, and YOUR FOOD. While the outgassing is not in great quantities at first, it DOES start the outgassing/leaching process immediately after placing goods into the container.

Milk jugs are NOT the best choice for storing drinking water in, regardless of how it is washed out, chlorinated, or prepared after havingmilk in them. Even approved water jugs break down after 1-2 years and outgas into the water. Store water for washing and toilet flushing in milk jugs. Store drinking water in soft drink type containers which are made out of TPE. TPE is a transparent, more rigid polyethylene and doesn't break down or outgas nearly as much or as quickly.

Here's a number for food-grade poly buckets: USP Plastic Corp. 1-800-537-9724 (We are not promoting or advertising for USP Plastic Corp. nor have any affiliation with them what-so-ever). Our suggestion? Use milk jugs for sanitation water, use cola bottles washed and rinsed with a diluted chlorine rinse before filling for drinking and cooking water, and buy the BIG tubs of ice cream that have a handle for food storage.

Two good point about the ice cream buckets: 1. You know they are food grade. 2. You get to eat the ice cream quickly so you can get more buckets.

Have 2 ice cream helpings nightly! ;-)

Mr. K ***getting too fat from eating ice cream***

-- Mr. Kennedy (buckets@grocery.stores), March 20, 1999.

Mr. Kenndy Thank you for that good information. Yes, I was told that the food grade barrels would not leech chemicals even if you use say chlorine to disinfect the water. I only have a little comment on ice cream. As a nutritional consultant, I think ice cream has so much harful additives in it. I once read that it has over1600 additives! EX. I tell people in my health seminar that Aldehyde which gives cherry flavor is also used in dyes. Piperonal (vanilla) is used to kill lice. Amyl butyrate (banana) is used in oil paint solvent, butyraldehyde(nut) is also used in rubber cement, etc. Most people just don't know because many ingredients are not listed. Even if listed, most Americans have been so brainwashed by the food industry that they still think for example that aspartame( artificial sugar, sometimes named Nutrasweet or Equal...) is okay. It has been documented to cause seizures, poor memory, and a jillion health problems. ( all diet soft drinks are loaded with Aspartame). I'm not a health food nut, in fact I love ice cream though I refrain from eating it most of the time. But if you have more allergies than others, go easy on ice cream. And sorry for spoiling your appetite for good old ice cream.

-- Raymond Kwong (kcorner67@hotmail.com), March 20, 1999.

Rumor-quashing time.

"When in doubt, look on the bottom of the container for the triangle with a number and letters code. Compare to the list at the EcoWeb site and make your choice."

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

You can ruin your food by following this advice. Simply because an HDPE pail (and accompanying lid) has a numeral "2" in a triangle on the bottom does not make it food grade. I have personally bought white 5 gallon HDPE buckets bearing the HDPE "2 in a triangle" symbol that later turned out to be totally unsuitable for food. The vast majority of the buckets sold are used to hold paint, joint compound and the like, not foodstuffs. The only way to be sure they are food-grade is to contact the manufacturer, as I did with the buckets I initially purchased.

Please, take no unnecessary chances with your food storage.

-- sparks (wireless@home.com), March 20, 1999.

Thank you for clarifying, sparks. The (HDPE2=food grade) is acquiring urban legend status.

Seems to me, however, that if you seal all the food inside a Mylar or Marvelseal bag, that it would be safe to use the paint buckets. Since the oxygen absorbers are effective when placed with the food inside the mylar, doesn't this suggest that nothing else (including chemicals) could get inside the mylar? But maybe that does not follow. ??

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), March 20, 1999.

Aye yi yi....

Per Raymond:
I once read that it has over1600 additives! EX. I tell people in my health seminar that Aldehyde which gives cherry flavor is also used in dyes. Piperonal (vanilla) is used to kill lice.

This is as bad as Flouride (which the public has also been brainwashed about...it is actually classified as a rodent extermination chemical).

Too bad Breyers doesn't come in the 2 gallon buckets......

I suppose I could feed the ice cream to my goat. She loves stuff like that. It's a shame too. These buckets are easy to obtain, they are verified food-grade level, and I considered them a bargain "by-product" of the ice cream purchase. Much more acceptable to me than buying a bucket of air for the same price.

Mr. K
***down to one scoop a night...sigh***

-- Mr. Kennedy (mad@icecream.makers), March 20, 1999.

Uh, oh. We have been using those rubbermaid 20 gal/30 gal plastic tote bins to store food in. We're not storing grains, flour or beans in them. We're storing already packaged food -- like freeze dried camping food, dried tofu, packages of pasta, etc. Have we made a big mistake? Should I find some other way to store these things???? Won't they be ok if they're kept in their original packaging? Should I put these items in zip-loc freezer bags first before putting them in the bin? Help!

-- Libby Alexander (libbyalex@aol.com), March 20, 1999.

Sorry to have to tell you, Libby, but those Rubbermaid containers WILL most likely affect your food, in either the short- or long-term. If they outgas, it'll most go right through the packaging and ziploc bags, if you use them. Even food in food-grade buckets has to be kept away from things like petroleum products, as there is some migration through the plastic.

If you haven't stored it in there for too long, test the food to see if it's picked up an objectionable odor or taste. If in doubt, throw it out. If you feel it's ok, repackage in food-grade buckets, or place in ziploc bags in *new*, rinsed-out steel garbage cans with tight lids. Food-grade buckets and lids are available from U.S. Plastic Corp.'s Y2K site, or sometimes from bakeries and such places (you'll need to clean them well and get new lids).

-- sparks (wireless@home.com), March 20, 1999.

Get the buckets and lids and use mylar to store. That way you do not have to worry what grade the bucket is.

-- Mike M (mikemm@nehp.net), April 28, 1999.

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