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Nov 1, 2007 11:33 AM

What is a food-grade bucket?

So I want to try my hand at salt-cured olives, and I apparently need a "food-grade" plastic bucket. What is such a thing, and where do I get it? Can I use a regular, clean plastic bucket?

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  1. I would recommend a restaurant supply house. A regular bucket would probably leach chemicals into a brine solution, not good eats.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coney with everything

      The 5-gallon plastic buckets that restaurants get food products in are food-grade. They may look the same as the ones you can buy at the hardware store, but as coney with everything said, the hardware store variety may leach chemicals and the food-grade ones won't.

      You can ask at any restaurant and they may just give you an empty one. A bakery in my neighborhood sells them for $1.00. I've bought them there and used them to brine a turkey.

      1. re: MsMaryMc

        They are generally white buckets, Pickles come in them for restaurants, jellies and jams for bakeries, typically have a handle as well....ask your local sandwich shop or bakery Im sure they will give you one

    2. It says NSF for one....go to a small restaurant supply shop, here we Have Cash & Carry. Buy a 4.5 L cambro & lid & you're set. Going to a restaurant is a good idea..we go through at least 3-4 buckets every week, just sitting in the recylcing bins

      1. If you decide to buy a new one, instead of going for the free options (which are great, btw), this containers are really good.

        1. From the link below ("Food Grade Plastic Containers For Brining")

          What Is Food Grade Plastic?

          The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires that plastics used in food packaging be of greater purity than plastics used for non-food packaging. This is commonly referred to as food grade plastic. Plastics used to package pharmaceuticals are held to an even higher standard than food grade.

          Food grade plastic does not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans. However, this does not mean that food grade plastic cannot contain recycled plastic. The FDA has detailed regulations concerning recycled plastics in food packaging.

          Another aspect of food grade plastic is matching the appropriate type of plastic to the food in question. Foods that are highly acidic or that contain alcohol or fats can leach plastic additives from the packaging or container into the food. As a result, you should only use plastic containers that are FDA approved for the particular type of food the plastic will come into contact with.

          Finally, it should be noted that a plastic container can no longer be considered food grade if it has been used to store non-food items like chemicals, paint, or detergent.