5 Gallon Food Grade Bucket with Screw On Lid

Dec 8th 2021

If you’re using a 5 gallon bucket for food storage, it’s important to find a bucket and a lid that are food grade. Afterall, when you’re dealing with food, it’s important that your storage container keeps your food safe and free from contaminants. But, if you’re storing items you want occasional access to, like flour, sugar, pasta, or beans… you might also be looking for a bucket lid that allows for easy access.

In this blog, we’re exploring the ins and outs of food grade 5 gallon buckets and how to find a bucket that’s safe to store food in. We’re also exploring your different options for food grade lids, and why we think a screw on lid is an excellent option for those looking for something that’s safe, easy to open, and airtight.

What Is the Difference Between Food Grade Buckets and Regular Buckets?

The primary differences between food grade buckets and regular buckets are the materials they are made out of, the dyes that are used, and the chemicals that are used to release the buckets from their mold during the manufacturing process. In other words, the label “food grade” has nothing to do with the manufacturing conditions being cleaner and everything to do with the actual ingredients and chemicals being used in production.

5 Gallon Food Grade Bucket with Screw On Lid

What 5 Gallon Buckets are Food Safe?

Are you wondering “How can you tell if a bucket is food grade?” You’re in luck. We’ve identified three key indicators to keep an eye out for when searching for buckets that are food safe. When checking if your bucket is food safe, keep an eye out for the type of plastic, any imprinted labels, and whether or not the bucket is BPA free.

When in doubt, you can always contact the manufacturer or look on their website for more information. If nothing is listed, it’s best to go with a manufacturer like ePackageSupply that lists in plain language that our buckets are food safe.

Type of Plastic

The first way to determine if a bucket is food safe is to examine the type of plastic it’s made out of. The easiest way to do this is to turn your bucket upside down and look for the recycling symbol—which is a triangle made out of arrows. The number inside the triangle indicates what type of plastic the bucket is made out of.

  • 1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE): Plastics of this variety are usually transparent and food safe
  • 2 - High-density polyethylene (HDPE): A stable form of plastic that is suitable for food storage
  • 3 - Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or Vinyl): These rigid plastics are typically used for building and construction
  • 4 - Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): A more flexible version of HDPE that is also food safe
  • 5 - Polypropylene (PP): A flexible and heat resistant plastic that’s food safe
  • 6 - Polystyrene (PS or Styrofoam): Usually used for takeout storage, though not used to produce buckets
  • 7 - Other: The catch-all category of plastics that don’t fit into numbers 1-6. While some #7s may be bio-plastic and therefore food safe, there’s no surefire way to tell from the number alone.

Generally speaking, food safe buckets are manufactured from plastic numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5.


In addition to the recycling label, most buckets have other labels imprinted on the bottom. Flip your bucket over and examine the symbols. If you see “USDA approved” or “FDA approved,” that’s an indication that the bucket may be food safe. You may also see a food safe label, which typically looks like a little cup and fork. This is another indication of food storage safety. Finally, many food safe buckets have an imprint that simply says “food grade” or “food safe.”


BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, is a chemical that’s been used to make various types of resins and plastics since the 1950s. Some studies have shown that BPA can seep into food or drinks that are stored in containers that are made with it. And, while the US. FDA has indicated that very low levels of BPA are safe for humans, many looking for food safe 5 gallon buckets seek those that are produced without BPA. At ePackageSupply.com, our 5 gallon food grade buckets are BPA free, so you can feel confident in your purchase.

Are Food Grade 5 Gallon Bucket Lids Airtight?

Once you’ve selected the right 5 gallon bucket for your food storage needs, it’s important to find a lid that’ll properly ensure that your food remains safe to consume. That means choosing a lid that is airtight. That’s right—not all 5 gallon bucket lids are airtight. So what are your options for airtight lids?

Gasketed Tear Strip Lids

First up, there are gasketed tear strip lids. This variety of lid includes a gasketed tear strip, which provides a tight seal to the bucket. This type of lid provides the kind of security necessary to safely store food or liquids over the short term or long term. However, gasketed tear strip lids can be difficult to install. Additionally, once the tear strip is torn, the lid can be reused, but it may not provide a fully airtight seal. For cases where you’ll need to open and reseal your bucket, it’s best to use a 5 gallon food grade bucket with a screw on lid, also called a gamma lid.

What Is a Gamma Lid?

A gamma lid modifies a 5 gallon bucket into a reusable, resealable container—all with a screw on lid and an airtight seal. While most lids can technically be opened and resealed, gamma seal lids are the best option if you need to be opening and closing your 5 gallon bucket with regularity because it’s as easy as twisting the lid off.

Gamma lids come sold in two parts: the lid and the installation ring. To install, simply remove the lid from the installation ring and place the ring on top of the bucket, securing it with a rubber mallet. Then, screw the gamma lid into the installation ring. Voila. Your 5 gallon food grade bucket with lid is ready.

There are a lot of questions surrounding gamma lids, their uses, and if they’re truly a great option for storing items in your 5 gallon buckets. Let’s demystify some of the most common.

Are Gamma Seal Lids Reusable?

Yes! In fact, this is the primary appeal of gamma seal lids for most buyers. Once the installation ring is installed on the bucket, a gamma seal lid can easily be screwed and unscrewed, providing quick access to the food stored inside the 5 gallon bucket. In addition to storing food, gamma seal lids are a great option for pet food, lawn & garden care, and construction uses since they are so easy to open and close.

Are Gamma Lids Good for Food Storage?

Yes—gamma lids are excellent for food storage! First, gamma lids are simple to open and close, which means you’ll have easy access to items you may need to use somewhat frequently. This is a great option when it comes to dry goods like pasta, beans, cereal, flour, and more. Make it easier by placing a label on your food grade bucket with lid so you’ll always know what’s inside. You can also order different colors to color code your food storage. For example, at ePackageSupply.com we offer gamma lids in white, black, red, and blue for inventory management purposes.

Second, gamma lids are excellent for long-term food storage because they provide an airtight seal, which will help keep insects and other contaminants away from your food. Looking for storage for years? Gamma seal lids can be used in conjunction with oxygen absorbers, which remove oxygen from an enclosed space. This can extend the life of food stored in 5 gallon buckets for years.

It is important to note that oxygen absorbers only work while in an enclosed space. If you need to open a bucket that contains oxygen absorbers, you’ll need to start using the contents or place new oxygen absorbers inside before resealing it.

Are Gamma Lids Waterproof?

If you’re sealing food inside your 5 gallon bucket, you may be wondering if it’s waterproof to provide total protection for your goods. With non-gasketed lids your bucket will become water resistant against splashing. However, to fully waterproof your bucket, you’ll need a properly sealed gamma lid.

For added protection, or if you’re concerned about your bucket being fully submerged, you can also vacuum seal your 5 gallon bucket with a screw on lid for added protection. There are a number of ways of doing this, including simply vacuum sealing your food. In addition to this, however, many people choose to use mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and a vacuum sealer to ensure no air or water comes into contact with your food. When sealing your food in a 5 gallon bucket in a mylar bag, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Ensure you purchase the right size mylar bag so it’ll fit comfortably inside your bucket.
  2. Empty your food into the mylar bags. Be sure to measure how many bags will fit inside your 5 gallon bucket—and leave at least two inches of headspace at the top of your bucket.
  3. When sealing your mylar bags, use an iron to seal the top of the bag. However, you should leave a two-inch gap on one side to allow you to press out any air before sealing it completely.

Can You Stack 5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lids?

When it comes to storing 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids, we get a lot of questions about whether or not it’s safe to stack them. And the answer is yes it’s safe, to an extent. Generally speaking, you don’t want to put too much weight on a gamma seal lid to avoid overbearing the threading. So, if you’re planning to stack your 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids more than two high, it’s best to place a board or a thin piece of plywood between each layer. This will more evenly distribute the weight and ensure the threading doesn’t take on too much stress.

Are Gamma Seal Lids Good?

If it isn’t clear by now, we think gamma seal lids are a great option if you’re looking for an airtight bucket lid! While gamma seal lids are a bit more expensive than tear strip lids, the ability to safely open and close them—extending the life of the contents of your 5 gallon bucket–is definitely worth it.

ePackageSupply.com: Your Source for 5 Gallon Buckets and Gamma Lids for Food Storage

ePackageSupply.com is a veteran owned business located in Evansville, Indiana. Created on the values of hard work, determination, and excellent customer service, we’re proud to have become one of the internet’s most trusted and successful sources of quality products, including bulk food grade buckets and lids, cups, jars, and bottles.

At ePackageSupply.com, we’re dedicated to helping to make our community and the world around us a better place. We’re always asking ourselves how we can give and donate for maximum impact. That’s why we regularly participate in philanthropic activities that focus on education and our military service members. As a company, we define success as being generous, prosperous, and kind. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

On our website,you can review an assortment of buckets and lids, including our food grade 5 gallon buckets and our gamma seal lids to find the best fit for your needs. Have questions? Reach out to us today. We’re happy to help you find the best food storage options for your unique situation.

*ePackage exclusively sells official Gamma Lid® products.