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Suitability of 316 Stainless Steel for food contact use


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#1 Quality Juicer

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 03:58 PM

Afternoon all

 

I am looking for some advice.  In the build up to BRC audit day I am reviewing all food contact equipment that we use and have come across an issue and was wondering if anyone ever had the same.

 

We currently use 316 stainless steel for pipework, mixing tanks and sieves.  I was under the impression that 316 stainless was widely recognised as food grade however I can find no supporting documentation stating this.  The other intriguing find was in the BRC interpretation guide (clause 4.6.2) which states the following;

"Where evidence to confirm the suitability of food contact equipment is not available and the contact material is not a recognised food-safe material (such as stainless steel), a documented risk assessment should be carried out to justify its use and ensure that it is not a food safety risk." 

 

Does anyone else have a risk assessment stating that the stainless steel is suitable for use or am I following a rabbit down an unnecessary hole?

 

Many thanks for any information.

 

Matt



#2 pHruit

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 04:53 PM

I'd read that as intending to give an example of a material that is recognised as food safe - I've never had a BRC auditor (or indeed any auditor) ask for more than confirmation that tanks, pipes etc are suitable gradees of stainless for our lines.

This thread seems to confirm as much, as it contains a quote from an old BRC document that is no longer accessible: https://brc.org.uk/s...ard Issue 5.pdf

 

Edit: Wayback machine to the rescue. The linked file referred to Issue 5 but does clearly state that they sensibly acknowledge it is a food-grade material. Can download here if you want a copy for your files, just in case you need to wave it at an auditor: https://web.archive....ard Issue 5.pdf


Edited by pHruit, 04 February 2019 - 04:55 PM.


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#3 Quality Juicer

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 05:15 PM

Many thanks.

 

I wouldn't have even questioned it had the interpretation guide not mentioned stainless steel specifically.

 

Will print the info off and keep on file and state somewhere in a risk assessment that all food contact stainless must be 316 grade.



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 02:33 AM

Hi pHruit,

 

I recall there is an older thread here specifically discussing "food grade" designated steels which, from memory, included specific non-BRC references.

 

Maybe this is the ("This thread...")  "hole" in yr Post 2 ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 pHruit

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 09:52 AM

Hi Charles,

Yes, thanks, I messed up my link!

This was the one I meant to include: https://www.ifsqn.co...re-appropriate/



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 02:56 PM

Hi Charles,

Yes, thanks, I messed up my link!

This was the one I meant to include: https://www.ifsqn.co...re-appropriate/

 

Hi pHruit,

 

Thks above. Useful.

 

I did a quick search and this "steel"  thread was the one I was thinking of -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...teel-food-safe/

 

From attachment in Post 6 -

Is 316 type the only stainless steel that is classed as the 'food' grade?
The '316' grades (1.4401 / 1.4404) are often referred to as the 'food' grades.
There is no known official classification for this and so, depending on the application, the equally common 1.4301 and 1.4016 grades
may be suitable for food processing and handling, bearing in mind that in general terms the corrosion resistance ranking of grades can
be taken as: -
1.4401/1.4404 (316 types) > 1.4301 (304 types) > 1.4016 (430 types)

(also see table in same Post)

 

Some relevant  info in these posts/threads also -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...ts/#entry110254

https://www.ifsqn.co...ce/#entry113204


Edited by Charles.C, 06 February 2019 - 11:08 PM.
expanded

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 Leila Burin

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 07:43 PM

Hello Mat chech the EHEDG guidelines, most for pay,:

https://www.ehedg.org/guidelines/

 

hope they help you, but yes, difficult not to accept SS 316

Leila



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:00 PM

Hello Mat chech the EHEDG guidelines, most for pay,:

https://www.ehedg.org/guidelines/

 

hope they help you, but yes, difficult not to accept SS 316

Leila

 

Hi Leila,

 

Thks for link. I think  EHEDG used to be more generous. As you indicate, only 2/49 documents are accessible/worthwhile which attached below.

 

Both very readable/useful but few examples and most of references are rather "old".

 

Attached File  EHEDG,Cleaning Validation in Food Industry,2016.pdf   303.33KB   7 downloads

Attached File  EHEDG hygienic design principles,2018.pdf   170.52KB   8 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#9 Tony-C

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 05:26 AM

I'd read that as intending to give an example of a material that is recognised as food safe - I've never had a BRC auditor (or indeed any auditor) ask for more than confirmation that tanks, pipes etc are suitable gradees of stainless for our lines.

 

Agreed, it is meant as an example of what is recognised as food grade. To be honest the wording could be better.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony






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