Common Sense When Buying Buckets
Let's get this right...
The perception that food grade buckets have a symbol on the bottom that designates it "food-grade" is wrong.
An HDPE2 symbol is not a guarantee of a food safe product
- If the label or the manufacturer/retailer says it's food grade then use it.
there is an HDPE 2 symbol on the bottom of the bucket but no food grade
label or manufacturer to call, don't use it. It may not be food
grade. Some HDPE 2 pails are food grade and some aren't.
Each bucket is regulated for a specific use by the FDA. The reason is that chemicals from the plastic can leach out and wind
up in your food, beer, wine or whatever you put back into the pail.
Because of that, used buckets can be a problem depending on what was originally stored in them. Use these guidelines to help:
If the original food from the pail:
- was high in acid
- had alcohol in it
- had fats or oil in it
- had very strong flavored food or liquid in it (spices-herbs)
DON'T use it.
*Unless you're planning on putting the same food or liquid back into it that it previously had in it. These foods contain
compounds that get bound up within the pores of the plastic and will migrate back out into the new contents of the pail.
An example would be if you want to ferment wine but the pail had dill pickles or relish in it. These "flavors" would leach
back out of the plastic to give your wine an off-taste and weird aromas. But if you want to fill it back up with relish or pickles then that would be just fine.
For this reason don't use any buckets that have had solvents, paint, gas, oil, or any chemicals in it.
If you don't know the history of the food grade pail then don't use it.
Or use a pail liner (see below).