Is Galvanized Steel Safe? A Safety Guide for Steel

Thinking about starting a raised-bed garden or just planting some individual plants into a galvanized steel bucket? There is so much information out there, it can sometimes be hard to navigate what information to go by. As manufacturers of galvanized steel metalware, we understand its safety first-hand. Galvanized steel products are a great addition to your garden arsenal. They offer durability, damage resistance, and lasts for decades. These types of galvanized containers look great and fit well with farmhouse décor or industrial décor.

What is galvanized steel?

Galvanized steel is steel that has gone through the process of having a protective coating of zinc applied, to reinforce the steel. There are several benefits galvanized steel provides, including extending the life of steel up to 50 years. Galvanization also keeps the metal corrosion-resistant, requiring little to no maintenance over its usable life. One of the most common types of galvanizing is hot-dipped steel. It’s very easy to tell if metal has been treated with hot dip, as it will have a corrugated texture to the metal.

safety of growing food in a galvanized steel tub

How safe is galvanized steel for growing vegetables?

Since many of us are not familiar with the galvanization process, it is easy to wonder if this type of steel is safe for human and/or animal use.

Zinc is a naturally occurring element that we are exposed to everyday and is considered an essential micronutrient for plants and humans (in small amounts).Zinc, in its finished form, does not provide a toxicity risk. However, like most things, if too much zinc gets in your system, or the metal has significantly deteriorated, the underlying steel can potentially leach toxins. That is why it’s always good to regularly check the integrity of your galvanized steel containers. If you find that your metal garden container is past its useful life, you can find a metal recycler nearby and get a little cash back, too. Find a metal recycler now.

Is galvanized steel food safe?

Galvanized steel is not USDA approved as a food safe serving standard, particularly, for acidic foods. As such, you will want to keep galvanized steel from direct contact with any acidic foods. For this reason, we always recommend lining your galvanized steel serving trays with parchment or wax paper. This precaution protects you and protects the metal from any accidental interactions.

When it comes to drinks, it’s perfect to use your galvanized steel tubs as beverage tubs. Keep your ice and beverages cold during get-togethers when entertaining. You won’t have to worry about any of these issues when you store bottles or can, as these acidic items are already contained in glass or aluminum.

So, if galvanized steel shouldn’t get hot, is it bad to leave the container outdoors or in the sun?