Are All White 5 Gallon Buckets Food Grade?

Dec 17th 2021

If you're a farmer, restaurant owner, or simply need to store food in your home, a food grade 5 gallon bucket is an essential item if you want to keep your food fresh and safe. However, there are a few things to consider before you embark on your food storage journey to avoid any harmful or costly mistakes.

In this article we’ll discuss how to identify what buckets are food grade and explain why 5 gallon food grade buckets with screw on lids are the safest and most reliable option when it comes to food storage.

5 Gallon Buckets


How To Tell if a Bucket is Food Grade

So, are all 5 gallon buckets food grade? In short, no. Food grade buckets are made with special materials to ensure that the food remains untainted and unspoiled. For example, you wouldn’t want to store food in a 5 gallon paint bucket because paint buckets are designed to hold non-food items, so they are not made with food grade materials. We’ll discuss the different kinds of food grade plastics and how to identify food safe buckets and lids in the sections below.

What is Food Grade Plastic?

Food grade plastic any plastic material that is strictly regulated to ensure that it is safe to store food in. The shape, size, and color of a bucket don’t matter so long as they’re made of an approved food grade plastic material Usually, a manufacturer will say if a 5 gallon bucket is food safe or not in the product description, but symbols and numbers are also used to indicate food safety. In addition to the food safe plastic numbers in the recycling symbol, the cup and fork image is the most common food grade plastic symbol. For example, food grade 5 gallon buckets have the food safe plastic numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5 in the middle of the recycling triangle on the bottom of the bucket. Each number corresponds with the type of food grade plastic used to make the 5 gallon bucket.

Here is a list of all food grade plastic materials:

  • 1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)

PETE is lightweight, strong, and often transparent.

  • 2 - High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is the most common type of plastic used for food storage because it is extremely stable and inert. An HDPE bucket is one of the most reliable options available.

  • 4 - Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

LDPE is a thinner and more flexible version of HDPE.

  • 5 - Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene is heat resistant and is commonly used to store or transfer hot food items.

If you would like to learn more about food grade plastics check out our Plastics 101 page for additional information.

What are Long Term Food Storage Buckets?

Long term food storage buckets are used to store dry goods that have a long shelf life, such as, dry milk, beans, flour, and grains. Using long term food storage buckets is extremely critical for farming applications and for keeping an emergency food supply.

Fortunately, any food grade bucket can be used to store these kinds of food items for the long term, assuming the lid is resealable, airtight, and leak-proof. Mylar bags are also used to vacuum seal products as an additional layer of protection, keeping oxygen and moisture from spoiling the food supply.

Gamma Seal Food Grade Bucket Lids

So, what is a Gamma Lid®? Gamma seal lids are resealable, screw-on lid models. This type of lid transforms any 5 gallon bucket into a resealable storage container. The gamma seal lid is the easiest and most practical lid for buckets that are opened and closed multiple times. These gamma seal lids are made of HDPE resin and their rubber seals make them leak-proof and airtight, which is critical for all food storage.

How to Use a Gamma Seal Lid

There are a few steps that need to be followed to ensure that your gamma seal lid is latched properly and is fully air tight. Read these steps below or watch our quick tutorial.

  1. Remove the center ring from the lid.
  2. Unscrew the lid from it’s adapter ring.
  3. Tuck the lid all the way around the top of your bucket.
  4. Begin to gently apply pressure around the lid with a rubber mallet.
  5. The lid should begin to click in place.
  6. Spin the gasketed lid to make sure it’s all secure.

In the Market for Food Grade Storage Buckets? Use

We hope this article was helpful and answered all of your burning questions surrounding airtight food storage buckets. If you have more questions or are interested in buying some food grade buckets made in the USA of your own, check out what has to offer here. All of our products are food grade and are ideal for all your prepping, serving, and storage needs. We also offer unique custom labeling services!

*ePackage exclusively sells official Gamma Lid ® products.