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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-27-2010, 01:11 PM   #1
harley76
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Default lets talk plastic (or not)

On a recent thread I posted to, I said I used a 5 gal paint bucket I purchased at home depot, to brine in. Well, I got a very well meaning responce from another member that this type of plastic was not so good and I should be using a food grade container. This worried me a little (I sure don't want to be doing anything that could harm my family) so I did some checking...my bucket is "HDPE type 2", this is used in many food apps. Well that made me feel a little better. I found after reading many different articles that there are no known health risks for types 1, 2, 4, & 5....now for 3, 6, & 7 that's a different story. I also found that heating "ANY" plastic will cause it to leach, microwave, hot foods etc. Well, brine + cold = good, right? I'm feeling even better.

Now for the not so good part, I started going through the house like a mad man looking at the bottom of all my food containers, water bottles etc. and low and behold there it was, a type 7 on a water jug and of all things....my coleman cooler. hmmm I store hot food in there after smoking.... is that safe?... I don't know.

I picked this article to post because it was a quick easy read.
http://hubpages.com/hub/Safe-Plastic...nsafe-Plastics
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Unread 09-27-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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use polycrylic
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Unread 09-27-2010, 02:40 PM   #3
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for the short period that we use for brining and such i wouldn't and don't worry about it. using plastic for storage does worry me. as to the cooler, is the food wrapped or otherwise not meat in full contact with the plastic ? if so then i wouldn't worry. it does take time to leach.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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This question has been around for a while, and many people don't seem to
mind that there can be dangerous chemicals leeching into their food.

So...are the plastic buckets at Lowes and Home Depot and Walmart safe to
use for food? I'm not 100% sure they are, even with the HDPE #2 on them.

So, what do you do? I bought a few Food Grade buckets from a local
"Home Brew" beer store. They are high quality and were made specifically
for food use. I even talked to the store owner about it, to be sure.

If you don't have a "Home Brew" type place close by that sells buckets for
making Beer at home. You can buy some food grade buckets at a restaurant
supply store. And if you just can't find any anywhere...here is a link to buy
some on Amazon.com. It even has a drain spigot to make it easier to empty.

http://www.amazon.com/Gallon-Bottlin...5617434&sr=8-3

Everybody likes to save money...but, is it really worth risking your
health just to save a few dollars?

Don't forget...this also applies to spray bottles you use to spray
liquids on your food while it cooks.

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Unread 09-27-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about it. If you're storing food for long periods of time, like 1 year or more, then I would look into it but overnight for a brine is nothing to worry about. As long as it's clean you'll be fine. Food grade buckets are used often to eliminate any potential for contamination and probably have more to do with having a paper trail for lawyers than any real difference in safety.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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Any time there's an article in the paper, in a magazine or a story on the news about some newly discovered "health risk", everyone freaks out about it.

I work for a chemical manufacturer that provides raw materials (urethanes, polyurethanes, plastisols, foams, elastomers, etc) for OEMs that make everything from kitchen utensils to ... uh... hmmm... "adult toys".

The level of BPEs or other phthalates that you would expose yourself to in using a basic paint bucket are inconsequential and would pose a statistically insignificant risk to your health. Chances are greater that you'll get hit by a bus or win the lottery before you'll suffer any negative effects from the levels of harmful chemicals in those buckets.

However, if it makes you feel better and you absolutely have nothing else to worry about in your or anyone close to you's life, then by all means, make sure you get the exactly "right" bucket.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Home Boy View Post
Any time there's an article in the paper, in a magazine or a story on the news about some newly discovered "health risk", everyone freaks out about it.

I work for a chemical manufacturer that provides raw materials (urethanes, polyurethanes, plastisols, foams, elastomers, etc) for OEMs that make everything from kitchen utensils to ... uh... hmmm... "adult toys".

The level of BPEs or other phthalates that you would expose yourself to in using a basic paint bucket are inconsequential and would pose a statistically insignificant risk to your health. Chances are greater that you'll get hit by a bus or win the lottery before you'll suffer any negative effects from the levels of harmful chemicals in those buckets
However, if it makes you feel better and you absolutely have nothing else to worry about in your or anyone close to you's life, then by all means, make sure you get the exactly "right" bucket.
Well said! I think.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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The type of plastic is only one of the factors that make an item "food grade". When it comes to plastic containers there are some other factors. I will give an example:

Salad dressing (the mayo type) comes in 1 gallon plastic jars. These jars are of the right type of plastic and are quite OK for the product that is in them when you buy them. However, if after you use the salad dressing, you wash the jar out and re-use it as a container, it is NOT OK.

This has more to do with the way it is made, bot the type of plastic. The have a seam down each side and across the bottom (two halves welded together). When first used, they are sterile at the time they are filled. However, health departments say that it is impossible to sterilize them back because of the seam. They say that regardless how you clean them, you MAY not be able to get all the food particles from under a lip in the seam.

Food Grade containers are made WITHOUT this seam. That is part of the determination for "food grade".

Now, I have not looked at the HD or Lowe's buckets to see if the have any seams or any other "nooks and crannies" that could harbor bacteria after the first use.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Home Boy View Post
Any time there's an article in the paper, in a magazine or a story on the news about some newly discovered "health risk", everyone freaks out about it.

I work for a chemical manufacturer that provides raw materials (urethanes, polyurethanes, plastisols, foams, elastomers, etc) for OEMs that make everything from kitchen utensils to ... uh... hmmm... "adult toys".

The level of BPEs or other phthalates that you would expose yourself to in using a basic paint bucket are inconsequential and would pose a statistically insignificant risk to your health. Chances are greater that you'll get hit by a bus or win the lottery before you'll suffer any negative effects from the levels of harmful chemicals in those buckets.

However, if it makes you feel better and you absolutely have nothing else to worry about in your or anyone close to you's life, then by all means, make sure you get the exactly "right" bucket.
You can also take a 22 caliber pistol and shoot yourself in both arms, and
both legs, and in the shoulder, and not do any real harm....but; why would
you risk it?

Maybe you can use a paint bucket for your food and not do any big
harm to you and your family. But, why risk it?
A quality food grade bucket or other food safe container is only a few
dollars more than a bucket from Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc.

If your health isn't worth $10 or $20, then it's OK to use any bucket or
container you want to put your food it. Why not turn off your fridge too?
That will save you a few more dollars. And you might not get sick.

So what is the point of washing off the chicken, and your hands, and the
cutting board, and your knife, and the kitchen counter, etc. Now that
everything is clean and sanitary, you put the chicken or turkey into a
container that will leach dangerous chemical into the food?

But; everybody is free to prepare their food any way they want.

Last edited by Grillman; 09-27-2010 at 09:37 PM.. Reason: typo
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Unread 09-27-2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qapla View Post
The type of plastic is only one of the factors that make an item "food grade". When it comes to plastic containers there are some other factors. I will give an example:

Salad dressing (the mayo type) comes in 1 gallon plastic jars. These jars are of the right type of plastic and are quite OK for the product that is in them when you buy them. However, if after you use the salad dressing, you wash the jar out and re-use it as a container, it is NOT OK.

This has more to do with the way it is made, bot the type of plastic. The have a seam down each side and across the bottom (two halves welded together). When first used, they are sterile at the time they are filled. However, health departments say that it is impossible to sterilize them back because of the seam. They say that regardless how you clean them, you MAY not be able to get all the food particles from under a lip in the seam.

Food Grade containers are made WITHOUT this seam. That is part of the determination for "food grade".

Now, I have not looked at the HD or Lowe's buckets to see if the have any seams or any other "nooks and crannies" that could harbor bacteria after the first use.
Interesting, most plastic containers are made in blow-molds. If there is a seam, it's only on the outside. The inside is absolutely smooth and seamless.
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Last edited by NorthwestBBQ; 09-27-2010 at 09:06 PM..
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Unread 09-27-2010, 07:42 PM   #11
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The following plastics do have known potential health hazards:
Code 3: Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC / Vinyl. This material, used often in flooring and shower curtains, as well as household water pipes (primarily for evacuation only - they should never be used to bring fresh water into the home), used to be used in cling wraps. The plastics industry is adamant that the type of PVC currently used in cling wraps does not contain the phthalates that are known endocrine disrupters. However, these phthalates may still be present in PVC bottles and toys. There was recent information that many baby teethers were also made from PVC, due to its soft flexibility. PVC or vinyl items should never be given to a baby or child who may put them in his or her mouth.

Some people make fatty pistons out of PVC pipe, is that not a good thing?
Just sayin...
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Unread 09-27-2010, 08:09 PM   #12
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I use the turkey roasting bags in the plastic pales and then I do not have to worry about food grade.
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Unread 09-27-2010, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbquzz View Post
I use the turkey roasting bags in the plastic pales and then I do not have to worry about food grade.
Bingo!
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Unread 09-27-2010, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
Bingo!
Double Bingo!

You could also try some restaurants in your area..give the chef a call and ask if they have any mayo buckets w/lids. If the place is busy they'll go through alot of them. Food service mayo generally comes in a 35 lb. increments inside a white bucket w/ a handle. If you were in Portland, OR I'd just give you some of mine
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Unread 09-27-2010, 09:17 PM   #15
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I work at a resort and found 5 gallon pales that were in the "recycling pile" (I am using them for a non-food purpose) but they originally had pickles in them. So, pickles in a 5 gallon, says to me same 5 gallon pail would be OK for brining a chicken or pork.
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