As you said, this is a super common practice in home brewing. I've never tasted plastic in my wort or finished beer.
That being said I would not put boiling water in it. I once recirculated my strike water with a pump to preheat the mash tun and it formed a bubble in the the plastic. Even in that extreme case I couldn't smell or taste plastic in that batch.
As far a infection, you boil the wort so there is no need to sanitize your Mash/Lauter tun. You will not get an infection that would survive into the fermenter. (General Cleaning is all that is needed).
Last brew: 1/22/17 Equinox Harvest Ale (1 pound of Equinox in a 5 gallon brew, including 4oz dry hop) 1.073OG Mashed at 158F (1.021 FG) = 6.9%ABV... taste a lot like Row 2/Hill 56 by Russian River Brewing Company (to me)