Food grade bucketts : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Does anybody know where I can find 6 Gal. food grade buckets at a fair price in the Las Vegas, NV area or close? If you try to buy grain from a vendor by mail the handling fees and shipping will eat you alive! Also I called the Tool Crib for a generator and they said I would have to wait until August or later for the one I want.WOW y2k stinks...Thanks for any help Tman...

-- Tman (, January 12, 1999


Go to home Base, or Home Depot paint department and purchase 5 gallon paint puckets w/lids. On the bottom of the bucket in a triangle stamped HPDE (2) in the center, these are food grade buckets. Find Army Surplus stores to purchase your generator or try public utility surplus auction sales to purchase generators. Also, go to local bakeries, fast food restaurants, etc. for food grade buckets, sometimes they give them away for free .

-- bardou (, January 12, 1999.

I've used U.S. Plastics for buckets, lids & other types of containers. Good prices & excellent service.

-- Bingo1 (, January 13, 1999.

Bardou, "HDPE2" just has to do with a classification for recycling plastics. The material is not necessarily food grade; some are and some aren't. The ones that aren't may have had chemicals added which could outgass into the contents of the bucket. In this case, you could still use the bucket, but mylar bags (or ?alternative?) to protect the contents would be mandatory. You have to call the manufacturer and ask if it's food grade.

I saw on another forum where someone had called the mfr. about Home Depot's paint buckets (mfr. named Letico) and the co. said their buckets were food grade. (I am going to Home Depot tomorrow, to check into these buckets too. The price is right.)

(Somehow I would like to get more verification than just a phone call saying "yes, they are food grade" but am not sure how.)

-- D B Spence (, January 13, 1999.

Why buy buckets? Go to an upmarket deli or supermarket selling feta cheese, repackaged from bulk by the business. Feta cheese buckets are great for food storage and don't smell like frosting buckets from bakeries and doughnut shops. After a good bleach scrub, I'm using the frosting buckets, still redolent of sugar and vanilla, to store things like vacuum-packed coffee or bags of sugar, where the vanilla smell won't be so objectionable. (I read on another forum that the vanilla smell attracts insect life--ants, roaches--even after thorough scrubbing, so be careful where you store these buckets.) I can also get 2-gall buckets formerly containing garlic--these are used for rice, dehydrated potatoes and cup-a-soups. The buckets are sealed well with duct tape, but you can buy new lids from US Plastics, about 80-90 cents, I think. Italian restaurants often have 1-gall containers formerly containing Parmesan cheese; pizza places have gallon glass jars, formerly containing olives and pickles. Delis also have plastic 1-gall jars formerly containing mayo. Large plastic cooking oil containers can't be reused for food but you can repackage non-food items such as boxed powdered detergent, cat litter, sand, granular fertilizer. I've had great luck finding containers in the dumpsters behind restaurants. . . Warning: supermarket delis are now getting lots of requests for containers and are rationing them, whereas only two months ago they were happy to give you as many as you could carry.

-- anon (, January 13, 1999.

I'll "second" US Plastics! Shipping for a dozen buckets & a few extras was about $11, BTW. Just don't expect much from their "Y2K consultants"!!

-- Anonymous (, January 13, 1999.

As someone working in plastics, I must add my two cents here. Whoever said "HDPE 2" doesn't mean food grade is right! AND I have found in getting water storage tanks that ANYONE can say their material is FDA approved and get away with it. Lots of companies sell these blue water storage tanks (really like barrels) that they say ARE FDA approved for potable water storage and they CAN'T be--I know for sure they can't be, because they are BLUE. Anyone ever notice those HDPE milk jugs never come in any color but this milky white? That's called natural when it comes to HDPE (which by the way stands for High Density Polyethylene). That is the ONLY color approved by the FDA --as set forth in 21 CFR 177.1520--ask your supplier if they can certify, in writing, to the FDA regulation above. Bet they can't. You see, the FDA doesn't approve any plastic material with color in it for food or water storage because pigments have to be added to make it that color! Even white has pigment added. However, this being said, gooood luck finding someone to admit this, it is common for distributors to sell colored HDPE materials for food and water storage, so common, in fact, that it is hard to get natural. So we have purchased the blue tanks for water. White buckets for long-term food storage.

BTW, I have a few of the orange HDPE paint buckets from Home Depot. I plan on using them for emergency latrines, if that tells you anything.

As a side note, this is what the statement should say if they can certify that it is FDA approved:

"This product meets all the requirements of the FDA for olefin polymers to be used as articles or components for contact with food as set forth in 21 CFR 177.1520."

As another by the way, I don't think the pigments will exactly KILL you, especially if you don't eat food or drink water from it for years.

-- Quietly Preparing (, January 13, 1999.

I have seen material posted on the Web (not that that makes it true or anything) that states that HDPE products put out by the posting company were indeed food grade, and this was from a company that makes reservoir liners for cities and containers out of the stuff. Can somebody come up with a definitive statement from some company as to the advisability of using paint buckets? I would use liners in them, but if they are sufficiently toxic with the addition of colorants, etc., what risk am I taking?

-- Karen Cook (, January 13, 1999.

I can certainly believe that some companies might cheat on whether their plastic was really FDA-approved and not get caught - but I just checked in the frig and there's an HDPE-2 bottle in there full of butter substitute, and that bottle is VERY yellow. Does that mean Lipton is cheating, or that there really are dyes that ok for food containers?

-- anonymous (, January 13, 1999.

Line the Home Depot buckets with some liners from Very good prices/service.

-- RD. ->H (, January 13, 1999.

Re the claim of colored plastic containers, specifically white, not being food grade.

If that is so, please explain how Pepsi and Coke can use them for their syrup? How do they sell cherries, icing and thousands of other items from "white" buckets?

As for the "milky" white containers, *being* food grade; I have several from k-mart that were labeled as containers for shoes and other junk as *well as food*. I called the manufacturer because I believe milky white plastic is NOT food grade. They said the were indeed not food grade and that the label was wrong! I am using white buckets I know previously held or were made to hold food. That's all I'm concerned about.

In nearly 60 years we have absorbed asbestos, lead, nicoteen, mercury, and a host of other contaniments and we are still very healthy. I may die of other y2k problems but I don't believe it will be from plastic poisoning. :-)

If you don't drink, you die sooner. No contest.


-- Floyd Baker (, January 13, 1999.

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