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Food Grade Lubricants vs. Non-Food Grade Lubricants


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#1 pkruse

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:21 PM

I'm wondering if someone can help me out here... I thought I read somewhere that you don't have to use food grade lubricants as long as it is not being used directly over a product zone or an area where the food might come into contact with. My first question is if this is stated anywhere by the FDA or if it's more of a common knowledge thing.

 

The next question, what about bearings that are on the outside of a conveyor and face away from the product, would you need to use food grade grease there because the food actually is on that conveyor or could you argue that since the bearing is on the outside of the conveyor that food would not touch it and therefore you could use non-food grade grease? 



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:28 PM

I'm wondering if someone can help me out here... I thought I read somewhere that you don't have to use food grade lubricants as long as it is not being used directly over a product zone or an area where the food might come into contact with. My first question is if this is stated anywhere by the FDA or if it's more of a common knowledge thing.

 

The next question, what about bearings that are on the outside of a conveyor and face away from the product, would you need to use food grade grease there because the food actually is on that conveyor or could you argue that since the bearing is on the outside of the conveyor that food would not touch it and therefore you could use non-food grade grease? 

Hi pkruse,

 

To answer yr queries, you need to look up the definitions/applications of the various Gradings of lubricants in use, eg H1, H2


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 TimG

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:59 PM

Morning pk, in addition to Charles suggestion, you might find the following handy. https://www.accessda...cfm?fr=178.3570

It specifically deals with FDA requirements for lubricants incidental with food contact.

Now to your determination on if bearings on the outside of the conveyor are incidental or not, that might involve a hazard analysis. This hazard analysis is one you would want to keep as reference to back up whichever decision you make. You're going to want to cover any scenario where that lube could get on the conveyor itself, and could include factors like how robust your post maintenance cleanup is, how much lubricant is used in the bearings, the facing of the bearings (like you mentioned) among any other factors.

If there is a reasonable chance the lube will get on the conveyor, that would be incidental contact.



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