Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey
1. Make sure the buckets will not impart their own taste....there are all kinds of plastic out there. Given the same material, "food grade" only really indicates how it is handled out of the mold to the customer, but, if you are looking to export the honey, being able to truthfully state that the processing equipment is food grade would be a plus.
2. Our health department allows us to sterilize 5 gallon plastic buckets with a standard 3 bay wash/rinse/sanitize sink...with bleach (concentration checked with pH paper) as the sanitizer. This is probably a bit of overkill for something that had honey in it and will get more honey into it, but we follow the rules and it is not a big problem.
3. Be very careful of any kind of soldered metal containers at any point in the process....my recollection is that there were some issues with honey in India because the acid honey leached out lead solder into the honey.
4. Stainless steel is expensive, but it is durable, and being able to certify that the honey is handled only in stainless steel from extraction down the line would be, I would think, helpful in marketing the honey.
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