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  1. #1
    CAPSTONE MEMBER 610Alpha's Avatar
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    Confusion on Food Grade Buckets

    I got this off of JWR's site: http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/12/letter_re_confusion_on_food_gr.html



    I thought I should share it.



    Mr. Rawles:



    I'm befuddled. My husband says that the new orange 5-gallon buckets they sell at Home Depot are the same as "food grade" buckets, because they are **** of the same plastic. But my sister says they aren't food grade. Who is right? Thanking You in Advance, - Lena in Indiana
    JWR Replies: This has been discussed before in SurvivalBlog, but it comes up so often that it bears repeating: As I explain in the Rawles Gets Your Ready Family Preparedness Course, determining whether or not a plastic bucket is truly food grade can be a challenge. I've had several readers and consulting clients who have mistakenly been told that the the number 2 (with the number 2 inside the "chasing arrows" recyclable plastic symbol) refers to Food Grade HDPE, but that is not true. Not all "2" marked plastics are food grade!


    Here is the distinction: The "food grade" designation is determined by plastic purity by and what mold release compound is used in the injection molding process--not by the plastic itself, since all virgin HDPE raw material is safe for food. For paint and other utility buckets, manufacturers sometimes use a less expensive (and toxic) mold release compound. For food grade they must use a more expensive formulation that is non-toxic. Unless the buckets that you bought are are actually marked "food grade", (or, marked "NSF", "FDA", or "USDA" approved), then you will have to check with the manufacturer's web site to see if they make all food grade buckets.


    For more details, see the information at this barbecue and brining web site. (BTW, the same web page has some great advice on removing odors and stains from HDPE buckets.) If in doubt, then mark the suspect buckets to strictly non-food item storage, such as for storing cleaning supplies, clothing items, or ammunition.
    "It's a trap!!!!" -- Admiral Ackbar

  2. #2
    Quoted from this barbecue and brining web site


    Here are some examples of plastic brining containers you can use:

    * Food Service Containers: Cambro or Rubbermaid food-grade containers from a restaurant supply store (Photos 1-3)
    * Food-Safe Plastic Buckets: Used bulk food buckets (Photos 4-5). You can often get food grade HDPE buckets free for the asking from restaurants, delis and bakeries. Think pickles, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, chocolate syrup, strawberry puree, shortening—all these things come in food grade plastic buckets.
    * Coolers: Large, medium and small insulated ice chests (Photos 6-7, 11)


    * Non-Food-Safe Plastic Buckets: Lined with a food-safe plastic bag, Ziploc Big Bags XL, or turkey roasting bag


    As long as you use sealed mylar bags I would think any HPDE 2 bucket that did not contain toxic chemicals should be ok, Yes?
    I have looked at the "Food Grade" 5 gallon buckets that are sold at the resturant supply houses. They cost about $15.00 each.
    Last edited by Monel; 12-07-2010 at 05:26 AM. Reason: incomplete reply

  3. #3
    Administrator protus's Avatar
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    use myalrs it is a none issue.

    so many over think this.
    I recently saw someone recommend crushing up drywall to make your own dessicants ( yeah thats good for the lungs) to put IN your mylar bag full of food........but make sure you use WHITE zip ties and not black ones on the bags because of the black dye.....that isnt food grade....but the gypsum and crushed drywall is..............my head almost exploded after seeing that.



    packing food-
    idiots guide to long term survival food packing-
    your cost- free ( sorry no link to my 350$ per page guide on how to pack food)

    step one-
    get a hold of a clean bucket one that either
    a- was used to store food- delis,pickles,cake icing,ediable panties ,anything that you would swallow, eat,rub on your eyes,skin,- get the point
    b- is new from a store
    c- or was not used with caustic cleaners or chemicals- NOT acids,oils,anthrax,uranium, spent fuel rod splinters from chernyobl.

    step 2-
    clean said bucket if used and dry out

    step 3-
    insert mylar bag into bucket...fill with dried food/grains of choice

    step 4-
    insert propper amount of O2' absorbers into bucket ( min. of 1500 cc per 5 gallons)

    step 5-
    seal bag with impulse sealer, clamp sealer, hair striaghtner, clothing iron, or hot rock if you live in a cave.

    step 6-
    place bucket in an area to be stored.

    step 7-
    walk away knowing your food will be good in 10-30 years.



    sorry to be blunt....but it amazes me how much people over think something so so easy.
    Hey Petunia...you dropped your man pad!

  4. #4
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    I agree with Protus. My buckets are no outside in the elements, the food is in mylar, so what's the issue. Only two thoughts:

    1. After over a year a bucket given to me by the Publix deli, STILLS smells like pickles after numerous washings with bleach and baking soda! Same with the bucket from the bakery which contained icing. Both still smell and I haven't used them. Mine come from Lowes or Home Depot.

    2. Storing smaller items in paint buckets seems a great idea. I bought a dozen on them. Then realized that the black lining of the paint can is NOT FOOD GRADE. It never occurred to me. I looked up the Safety Data Sheet posted by the manufacturer and realized they should not be used. I've used them this week to pack very precious, but breakable items for the move. They work great for this because enough stuffing keep stuff from getting broken or crushed. For food, you must use an unlined can. I've yet to see one recently.

  5. #5
    In the original packing video, I said that HDPE 2 is "generally considered" safe for foods. I think a lot of people heard "HDPE 2 is food grade" but if you go back and re watch, that's not what I actually said. Besides I **** it abundantly clear to avoid buckets that held chemicals, etc.

    On the "food grade" buckets issue- go get a free bucket from the bakery. What is it marked? HDPE 2. OMG!!! Go get some of the $1. pickle buckets from Firehouse Subs. What are they marked? HDPE2 OMG X2!!! To think those pickles are NOT packed in mylar and that donut frosting is NOT packed in mylar! OH THE HUMANITY OF IT!! Those FOODS (ok the frosting would barely classify as "food" but bare with me) like that that we eat every day are NOT packed in "according to Hoyle" food grade buckets!! OMG X3!!!

    If you look at the buckets that come from Walton's and the other big manufacturers, they are all HDPE 2. If a bucket is new and of that material why would it NEED to be "food grade?"

    People need to spend some time at any place that prepares or packages food for the general public's consumption. It is NOT done by guys in biological suits with respirators in a sterile clean room! While everyone that has just ever worked a cushy office job is worrying about whether a bucket is marked "food grade" that their pickles at Firehouse subs came out of, I'm more worried if Pepe and Juan that are preparing the food washed their hands this week.. Think about it.

    Protus mentioned some of the retarded ideas floating around now. Sorry no other way to say it. Some idjit on Kev's board mentioned using LIME, yes Lime, you know that's CAUSTIC to the skin Lime! as a "dessicant." WOW! That's almost as ridiculous as the clown from Central florida that said to "sew up little baggies of rice and those will act as OXYGEN ABSORBERS."

    What Protus mentioned re: the procedure is really that simple. How do I know? I owned and ran a cannery in 1998 and 1999. During that time we packed in excess of half a million pounds of grains, legumes, dry milk and dehydrated fruits, veggies, etc. for long term storage. The idjits that are coming with the "use lime, broken sheetrock, handwarmers, mylar party balloons" and what not, how much have they ACTUALLY PACKED? Sorry but packing a couple dozen buckets does NOT impress me and no one should act an expert or come with crazy ideas with such little experience.

    Wow Rob that was harsh! Your damn right it was! We are talking about people's lives. Food=life.

    Screwing around with half arse methods will likely contribute to your family starving later and of course it's a WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY now. We should all be fired up when we see people advocating stupid stuff like that. Maybe if more than just one or two folks jumped on others when these DANGEROUS techniques are discussed, idjits would stop repeating them?

    Now if mylars were $600. EACH and oxygen absorbers needed written approval for use by the EPA, then by all means we would be looking to other ideas. But about a $1. each for the mylars and people are wanting to skimp and do stupid stuff? WHY? To be new and exciting? A little too late for that.

    Seriously folks, food storage could mean your family's SURVIVAL one day, and these tards are advocating LIME, mylar party balloons and sheetrock pieces? As if dry ice and DE wasn't caveman enough!

    Sorry for the rant. Having so long in the food storage industry working almost all aspects of it, and knowing the importance of food storage for our survival, I have little patience for stupid ideas that are dangerous.

    Robert Henry

  6. #6
    CAPSTONE MEMBER 610Alpha's Avatar
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    Wow my little post has really caused a stir. That was not my intent. I was merely trying to share some info. Here is all that I have to say:

    since all virgin HDPE raw material is safe for food
    The "food grade" designation is determined by plastic purity and what mold release compound is used in the injection molding process--not by the plastic itself
    Now if someone can verify these two statements in quotes or discount them that would be great.
    "It's a trap!!!!" -- Admiral Ackbar

  7. #7
    Administrator protus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elittle View Post
    Wow my little post has really caused a stir. That was not my intent. I was merely trying to share some info. Here is all that I have to say:





    Now if someone can verify these two statements in quotes or discount them that would be great.

    hdpe 2 plastics are fda food grade plastics.
    unless they are florine treated hdpe- which is hdpe that is used with chemicals ,caustics etc.
    This doesnt mean that places are not using hdpe "2" buckets to hold other chemicals,mud etc. that are not per say "food"

    mold releases may be FDA approved food grade but....
    I use a FDA food approved silicon spray at work as a lube.........................doesnt mean i wanna smear it on my steak to keep it from sticking to the grill.

    im just saying. didnt answer your question.

    BUt in the context of LTS or STS food..if your packing correctly with mylars as LD pointed out it is a NON ISSUE either way .
    Hey Petunia...you dropped your man pad!

  8. #8
    CAPSTONE MEMBER 610Alpha's Avatar
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    Thanks Protus!
    "It's a trap!!!!" -- Admiral Ackbar

  9. #9
    As Protus said, when your packing correctly with mylars, this is really an non issue.

    I've never seen an imprinted in the plastic or from the factory label on an HDPE2 bucket designating it "food grade." This might be something new???

    My point on the Firehouse subs pickle buckets and the free from the bakery donut icing buckets is that these are NOT according to Hoyle "food grade" buckets. I have NEVER seen an imprinted in the plastic of otherwise clear designation that these buckets are "food grade." Yet they hold food and people eat that food every day.

    We CAN become too analytical on certain things. If your using new buckets or buckets that have previously (and only) ever held food- i.e, the pickle buckets, icing buckets from the bakery,etc. this is not a problem.

    Further, the mylar liner you will be using will add an additional layer of protection. So if the evil plastic mold release agents attack your food you will have MORE protection than the pickles, donut icing, cake filling and countless other food products shipped naked in those buckets every day.

    The sarcasm is NOT directed at you but the overly analtyical types that come with this stuff. ALL it ends up doing is confusing people and adding more constrenation for the folks that want to make sure they are doing it right.

    You can laugh at this, but I've met those types of people, they get so much conflicting "expert" opinions (you know those guys that pack a dozen buckets and get expert status from that LOL) that they go around in circles for YEARS without food put back for their families because they want to make sure everything is just right before they get off 1st base.

    The first food I "packed" was in 1987, I was 14 and I got free icing buckets from Dunkin Donuts and started putting 5 lbs. at a time of rice into the buckets after I washed the buckets out thoroughly. When the bucket was filled, I banged the lid on and sealed the lid with silicon caulk. Those buckets NEVER stayed inside an air conditioned environment and were bounced around moving a dozen or so times, living most of their time in garages in Florida (high heat, high humidity).

    We finished the rotation of the batch from that "era" of my food packing in 05-06, it was all fine just oxidized from the lack of mylar liners and oxygen absorbers. A bucket BY ITSELF is not an adequate oxygen barrier, this is why everyone started using mylar liners when they became commonly available in the mid 90's.

    Not a bucket a in our family inventory (let's just say more than a few) is clearly marked "food grade." However ALL are marked HDPE2. Some are blue, some are green, some are red, most are white. Some were new from when I bought them 10 pallets at a time when we had the cannery. Some are used buckets that once held pickles, donut icing, etc. We have ate this food regularly since we moved in late 1999. We are all in good health and have a healthy 10 year that was raised on this food.

    If you want to search around and find buckets that are specifically marked "food grade"- if that sort of animal even exists, go for it. Just KNOW that with your mylar liner it isn't necessary.

    I'm not knocking anyone for being over analytical, that's fine if that's your bag, but do not let it keep you from putting up food for your family!!!

    Sounds stupid, but I've met quite a few that have......

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  10. #10
    Administrator protus's Avatar
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    what if you packed at least 15 buckets..do you get expert status then...;P lol

    sorry had to add a little light heartedness to it all ..

    good post.
    Hey Petunia...you dropped your man pad!

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