Protecting food from bugs, mold, and moisture loss is important.
Whether you’re creating an emergency food storage for you and your family, or you want to preserve your new, bountiful crop of strawberries for the winter, the right storage containers are key to protecting your food.
People who prepare and store their food prefer large 5-gallon buckets, but these buckets can be expensive. Home
Home Depot sells their famous orange 5-gallon bucket for less than $10! That price is so cheap, but are the buckets food grade?
The 5-gallon orange buckets at Home Depot are not food safe or food grade. The buckets are not designed to keep food contaminants out of the bucket.
The lid does not have a gasket to keep air and bugs out. But Home Depot sells food grade storage buckets.
Are Home Depot Buckets Food Grade?
Using large heavy-duty buckets to protect your food seems like a great idea.
There are many 5-gallon food safe storage buckets that will protect your food from determined and hungry bugs.
So, would you be able to store your food and greens inside a 5-gallon Home Depot bucket?
Unfortunately, the buckets found at Home Depot are not food grade and will not protect your food.
The Home Depot buckets are not food safe, and they are not made with plastic chemicals deemed safe for food storage by the FDA.
On Home Depot’s online store, there is a warning sign on the 5-gallon orange Home Depot bucket page clearly stating that the buckets are not food grade.
Home Depot does food safe storage buckets. But they will not be as cheap as the Homer buckets.
Does Home Depot Sell Food Safe Containers?
Buying an orange Homer bucket to store your beans, rice, freeze-dried vegetables, or cans of soup is out of the question.
What should you use instead?
Home Depot does sell other types of food grade storage containers.
You’ll find them either at the store or online. If you cannot find the food storage containers at the store, ask the staff where the food storage containers are located.
Here are some food storage items sold at Home Depot as of May 2022:
- 27 Gal. Ingredient Storage Bin with 500 Cup Commercial Food Container with Scoop and Sliding Lid for Kitchen, White – $192
- 5 gal. 70mil Food Safe Bucket White (Lid sold separately) – $4.99 plus LID White Reusable Easy Off Lid for 5-Gal. Pail (Pack of 3) – $7.62
- INSTAVACTM Green Earth Food Storage Container Set, BPA-Free 8-Piece Nesting Set with Vacuum Seal and Locking Lids – $22.86
How to Know If a Plastic Container is Food Safe
Whether it is a plastic container that goes in the fridge or a giant 40-gallon bucket complete with a rubber gasket and multiple clamp locks, there is a way to know if a storage container is 100% food safe.
It is the FDA that regulates the requirements for all food safe storage containers.
By the regulations set forth by the FDA, all food safe containers must have a symbol that marks it as food safe.
The symbol looks like a triangle and has a knife and a small cup in the middle.
It may not be easy to spot because manufacturers do not color the symbol when they stamp it on their storage containers.
So, it will stay the same color as the storage container.
You will find the symbol usually at the bottom of the storage container. It will either be inside the container or outside on the bottom.
A food safe product will most likely have the words “food safe” somewhere in the title or in the description.
If food safe is not in the title, then the words will be located somewhere on their online retail page.
If you are shopping online, then you can search the words food-safe into the search bar and then use the filters to find storage containers, buckets, Tupperware, and other food storage items.
What Does Food Grade or Food Safe Mean?
Not all plastics are made with the same chemicals. Some plastics are made to hold toxic material, some are made to hold nuclear material, and others are made for food storage.
When a plastic container is food grade or food safe, it is made with materials deemed safe to come into contact with food. Here are a few materials regulated for food safety:
Silicone, Teflon, brass, cast iron, and cardboard all come into contact with food either through packaging, cooking, or storage and transportation.
Conclusion to Home Depot Buckets Being Food Grade
The orange homer buckets are not food safe. Home Depot does sell other food safe and food grade buckets.
In order to see if a container is food safe, it will have a food safe symbol on the bottom or on the inside.