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Antimicrobial Food Grade Lubricant

lubricant antimicrobial food grade grease

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#1 jenky

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:20 PM

We recently had a customer audit and received a non-conformance for not using antimicrobial food grade lubricant.  We use H1 food grade lubricant.  The auditor stated that we should be using an antimicrobial type.  I am not aware of any regulation or code requirement and our maintenance manager is not keen on switching lubricants.  Anyone familiar with antimicrobial lubricants? Benefits or cons to them that I should be aware of? 

 

If it helps ... manufacturing peanut butter, so no water in the process and minimal water usage during sanitation. 

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback! 

 



#2 Scampi

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:09 PM

from a grease manufacturer

 

 

"2. Bel-Ray Food Grade products are not intended to have such an effect (i.e. to destroy, deter, render harmless, prevent the action of, or otherwise exert a controlling effect on harmful organisms), but rather to be used as lubricants for the food industry machinery, they are not antiseptics or sterilizing agents themselves."

 

Did the customer say why they thought you should be using it? Seems to me that all the preventative maintenance should prevent any "old and/or smelly" grease from being in place


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#3 jenky

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 08:52 PM

Interestingly, the auditor could not really explain why we needed to use them when pressed on the subject, just that we needed them.  I am having a hard time justifying the change (and increased cost) to maintenance.



#4 fgjuadi

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 10:07 PM

Trying to take lubricant from a mechanic ?

 

:cm:

 

I hope you're suited with appropriate PPE.

 

I'm not aware of any lubricant requirements other than H-1 / Food safe  & Kosher (yes, all of our lubricants must be certified Kosher) , but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. 

It's very difficult to conform to a standard you aren't aware of, so I would insist on the actual standard they want you to comply with.  It sounds like when pressed the customer didn't have a standard. So, getting them to admit that might be the most work you have to do.

 

You can always offer the customer a risk assessment.  If the risk of not using anti-microbial grease is increased microbes, how much does the anti-microbial grease decrease the microbes?  If, as in scampi's post, it's not meant to decrease microbial load at all, then the risk of not using it seems low to me.  But of course that's up to your HACCP team (surely the member from maintenance will have some representin' to do).


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#5 RG3

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 12:08 AM

This is the first time I've heard of this. Usually the requirement is H1. It was hard enough getting maintenance to move to H1 because of course H2 or whatever behind grandma's sink works so much better. I can only imagine how tough it would be to go from H1 to antimicrobial food grade lubricant and then to the horn of a unicorn. Where do these people come up with their standard and worse can't even point you in the right direction.

 

I would pad my risk assessment by showing micro result history and PM programs. Maybe even daily GMP audits that states they're looking out for excessive lubrication & worn parts.



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#6 jenky

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 01:21 PM

I was leaning towards a risk assessment as a polite way of saying "no, we do not need to change because ..."   Appreciate the comments and confirmation that I am not the only person on the planet to not know about antimicrobial lubricant.



#7 MWidra

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 09:07 PM

I did a quick Google and found this site, buried beneath some other "antimicrobial lubricant" ads.  That's the only comment I'm going to make on that topic...

 

http://lubricants.pe...oducts/283.aspx

 

It looks like someone actually makes lubricants for food grade use that have an antimicrobial component.  Interesting, but unless your risk analysis shows that your food contacts the lubricants directly, and that there is a risk of pathogens growing in the lubricants and then contaminating subsequent food products, I think you can win your case.

 

I wonder if the auditor owns stock in the company, lol.  But maybe there was a really bad contamination problem that was solved by using this.  Some auditors get their "pet ideas" which they use at every audit no matter if it fits the situation or not.

 

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