Food storage is a matter of life and death—literally! So when you’re deciding what products to use for your short- and long-term food storage, it is important to select high-quality containers that will keep food from spoiling or becoming contaminated during its recommended shelf life.
5 gallon buckets with Gamma Lids®, also known as gamma seal lids, are a popular choice for food storage. 5 gallon bucket dimensions and the properties of gamma lids lend themselves well to this application. But what exactly makes these lids so special and why are they suitable for this important task? We’ve got the answer to these questions and more.
What Is a Gamma Lid for a 5 Gallon Bucket?
Gamma lids for 5 gallon buckets are a specific style of lid for covering these containers. They consist of a ring with threads that snaps on to the bucket (usually pounded in place with a rubber mallet to ensure a tight fit) and the inner lid, which is a round lid that screws into the ring, creating a tight seal. To better understand the gamma seal lid, let’s take a moment to look at different bucket lid features, including:
- Gasketed - A gasketed lid refers to a rubber seal that is between the lid and the bucket. This creates an airtight and waterproof seal that is perfect for food storage. A gamma seal lid is a gasketed lid.
- Non-gasketed - As the name suggests, these lids have no gasket, which makes them perfect for dry storage or applications where a tight seal isn’t as necessary. For example, storing non-food items or for short-term storage.
- Tear strip - A tear strip lid has a one-time strip at the bottom of the lid that indicates when it has been opened. This is good for knowing when a bucket has been accessed and for keeping track of which buckets to use the contents of first. For example, a bakery might store their flour in 5 gallon buckets with tear strip lids so they know which ones have been opened.
- Non-tear strip - This type of lid does not have a tear strip. The gamma seal lid fits into this category.
- Spout - This style of lid has a pour spout so that you can easily access the contents of the bucket without removing the entire lid.
The gamma seal lid is a gasketed, non-tear strip style of lid that many people choose as their preferred lid for securing their food grade 5 gallon buckets.
What Is the Purpose of a Gamma Lid?
The purpose of a gamma seal lid is to allow the user easy access to the contents of the bucket while also providing an airtight seal. Gasketed tear strip lids, like the L40GTS also provide an airtight seal, but they are not easy to apply or remove. Gamma lids solve this problem with their screw-top design.
Are Gamma Seal Lids Reusable?
Yes and no. You can reuse a gamma seal lid on the same bucket or use the inner section of the lid on a bucket that has an interchangeable outer ring. However, it is not recommended to try to remove the outer ring and reuse it on another bucket. The outer ring snaps on the bucket quite firmly, so you will probably weaken the integrity of the seal when you pry it loose. This means that when you put the outer ring on a different bucket, your gamma seal lid may not be airtight.
Are Gamma Lids Watertight?
Yes, they are! Or rather, they should be. Well-made gamma seal lids that are closed correctly (twisted until they are tight and secure) should be both air- and watertight. This is one of the major advantages of gamma seal lids, particularly with how easy they are to open and close.
Are Gamma Seal Lids Food Grade?
Typically, yes. Gamma seal lids are usually manufactured specifically for food storage reasons, so the majority of them are food grade. However, it is important to verify when purchasing that your lid is suitable for food storage purposes if that is what you wish to use it for.
What Makes a Bucket or Lid “Food Grade”?
There are three factors that make a bucket or lid food grade. They are:
- The Material
Buckets and lids are made out of different types of plastic. In general, food grade plastics are numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5. The other types of plastics are not food grade because they contain chemicals that will leach into food when it comes into contact with the bucket. Food grade plastics are free from any chemicals or contaminants that could cause harm to humans or animals.
For some people, BPA is also a consideration. BPA (bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastic more flexible) can potentially cause harm if consumed in large quantities. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that BPA is safe at a very low level, though some people are concerned about their exposure since this chemical has been used for so many different products for so many years. If you are concerned about BPA, you should seek out food storage products that are marked “BPA-free,” like the 5 gallon buckets and gamma seal lids you’ll find at ePackagesupply.com.
- The Release Agent
Plastic products are typically manufactured using an injection or blow molding process. In order for the plastic to release from the mold, manufacturers use release agents. These are formulas that are sprayed on the molds prior to the plastic being inserted into the mold. Release agents can cling to the surface of the finished item. For food grade buckets and lids, manufacturers take special care to make sure their release agents are safe for human consumption and won’t cause harmful effects.
- The Colorant
Brightly colored buckets and lids are fun to use and helpful for establishing organizing systems. However, just like release agents, there are some plastic colorants and dyes that are harmful and some that are perfectly safe for people. Food grade buckets and lids use colorants and dyes that are not going to hurt anyone.
How Can You Tell if Your Gamma Seal Lid Is Food Grade?
There are a few different ways. The best way is to check with your supplier. You can also check the recycling symbol on the top or bottom of the lid to see what type of plastic it is made from. Food safe plastics are 1, 2, 4, and 5. You can also look for the “food grade” symbol, which is a cup and fork.
Do Gamma Lids Fit Any 5 Gallon Bucket?
Typically yes, although it depends on the manufacturer. There is no standard size for 5 gallon buckets, so some suppliers have buckets that are slightly larger or smaller than others. To ensure that your gamma seal lid will fit, be sure to purchase your buckets and lids from the same supplier. Then you’ll have food grade 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids that fight snuggly and work well for years to come.
Can You Stack 5 Gallon Buckets With Gamma Lids?
It is not recommended to stack food grade buckets with gamma lids, especially if the contents are heavy. 5 gallon buckets are generally tapered, so the bottom of the bucket will not rest on the rim of the bucket below. Instead, it would be resting on the inner lid of the gamma seal lid. This can put too much stress on the threading, causing the gamma seal lid to lose its airtight seal or, worse case scenario, to completely fail and collapse inward.
If you do need to stack your 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids in order to save space, the best way to do so is to place a sturdy piece of wood (big enough to rest on the rim of the bucket) in between each bucket so that the pressure of the upper bucket is on the sturdier rim, not the inner lid of the gamma seal lid.
Who Makes Gamma Seal Lids?
We may be biased, but here at ePackageSupply.com we sell gamma seal lids in addition to a variety of other bucket lid types (as well as buckets, jars, and containers...but more on that later). There are many different manufacturers of gamma seal lids, but here at ePackageSupply, our commitment to our customers is unmatched. We are dedicated to supplying lids in a timely manner with excellent quality and customer service.
Where Are Gamma Lids Made?
We can’t speak for other suppliers, but all of our ePackageSupply gamma seal lids (and food grade lids and containers of all sizes) are manufactured here in the United States. As a veteran-owned and operated company, sourcing and providing products that are made in the U.S.A. is an important part of our promise of providing high-quality goods to our customers.
When you’re looking for your gamma lid source, consider purchasing those that are made in America. “Made in the USA” stands for and ensures a superior and consistent quality of goods, standards that we take seriously here at ePackageSupply.com.
How Much Are Gamma Lids?
You can easily explore the pricing of our gamma seal lids on our website. Like many products, the price per piece goes down the more you purchase. However, you don’t have to buy a 12 case (unless you want to!) to get your hands on a gamma seal lid. We offer packages of 3, 6, and 12 in a variety of colors (white, black, red, and blue). All of our gamma seal lids are food grade, BPA-free, made in the USA, and fit both our 3.5 gallon and 5 gallon buckets.
ePackageSupply.com: Your Source for Food Storage Buckets With Gamma Lids
Whether you’re looking for gamma seal lids, bulk food grade buckets, or both—we can help. We’ve got a wide range of solutions that are perfect for your food prepping, serving, and storage needs. From buckets, containers, lids, jars, cups, and more, all of our packaging is food grade, ranging from 2 ounce portion cups to 5 gallon plastic buckets. Want your products to stand out? We offer custom labeling to assist you with getting the perfect look on the right container.
ePacakgeSupply.com is a United States veteran-owned-and-operated company based in Evansville, Indiana. Our many hours of hard work and determination, as well as a little luck, have helped us to become one of the internet’s most trusted and successful providers of quality food service products and exceptional customer service. Explore our website today to see the many products we offer.
*ePackage exclusively sells official Gamma Lid® products.