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The Importance of Food Processing Conveyors and Lubricants in Producing Safe Food

Sep 10th 2015 at 2:33 AM

Industrial lubrication is the difference between effective operating machines and premature machinery failure. The accuracy and speed of a plant depends on safe lubricants and processing conveyors.

In the world or field of industrial lubrication, lubricants are not created equal. Industrial application lubricants and automotive bearing lubricants vary. A unique and important variation of lubricants is in the form of the food safe lubricants.

What exactly happens?

If conventional Chain and Conveyor Lubricants are used when handling or packaging food, the potential of oil and grease leaking can cause a major concern. Using food grade lubricants instead of lubrication reduces the risk of spills during maintenance. It also ensures that any leaks do not compromise the beverage or food product. Pharmaceutical, beverage and food companies must continually implement high quality non-toxic Food Processing Maintenance Lubricants to make sure that they are safe for consumers.

Lubricant marketers, lubricant formulation engineers, and equipment designers constantly face different challenges. This is as they strive to maintain high safety levels in the event of an accidental contamination. Lubricants employed in the food processing industry observe strict performance expectations and requirements.

The following are the three categories of the food grade lubricants.

•    H1 – This category focuses on the food processing environments with high incidences of food contamination.
•    H2 – This category focuses on the Food Grade Designation Lubricants used specifically on machine and equipment related parts in those areas with low possibilities of contact.
•    H3 – Finally, this category is normally associated with those food grade lubricants, which are edible oils (Oils used in the prevention of hooks and trolleys).

The United States Department of Agriculture originally created the above food grade designations.

Examples of sad stories because of using improper lubricants

Failure to use the right lubricants can be quite hurtful to employees, the environment, and society at large. In 1998, because of contamination, Smithfield Foods had to recall approximately 490,000 pounds of their smoked boneless hams. A non-food grade gear lube was behind the food contamination. Customers began to report a foul taste coupled with some burning feeling in their throat because of eating the contaminated ham.

Another perfect example took place in 2000. 86,000 pounds of deli meats had to be recalled because of non-food grade lubrication contamination. Some consumers complained of odd flavor and odor in the meat. Others complained of experiencing temporary intestinal problems. These two examples are just some of the many cases that point to the importance of using food safe lubricants. They go miles in protecting the company image, products and consumers as well. There is no doubt about that.

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