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Achieving ISO 21469 Certification

The need for food grade lubricants for food and beverage producers, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, and producers of containers used to package food-related products, has popularized a new terminology in the vernacular of food-grade lubricants: ISO 21469 certification. Though ISO 21469 is not a new standard, it has taken a while for mainstream adoption.

Recently, a number of major suppliers of food-grade lubricants have been successful in obtaining ISO 21469 certification. This standard is just like the pre-existing NSF H1, H2 and H3 designations, in a way that they are all about trying to insure that consumers are protected from the hazardous effects of contaminating food and food-related products with the lubricant.

However, the first important distinction is that ISO 21469 only addresses products intended for “incidental contact” (so-called H1 products in the old terminology). It does not cover the NSF H3 category of lubricants where product contact is inevitable, nor does it address H2 lubricants. Secondly, ISO 21469 addresses the whole process of lubricant design, manufacturing, packaging and transportation. This makes it different from the NSF H1 designation, which simply addresses the potential toxicological, carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of the lubrication by comparing a list of the lubricant’s “ingredients” with a list of approved food-safe products.

According to experts, it is essential to conduct a thorough “hygiene risk assessment” in order to achieving ISO 21469 certification. This should focus not only the chemical safety of the lubricant but also the potential for physical risk from the ingression of dirt, dust or metals, or biological risk due to the formation of pathogens or other biologically active agents from long-term storage, spoilage, etc.

Manufacturers can achieve ISO 21469 certification easier when they use top caliber lubricants. The Industrial Lubricant Store’s food-grade lubricants are 100% OEM compatible and formulated specifically for each type of industrial equipment being used in the food services industry. Composed of the highest quality synthesized hydrocarbon fluids available, these special blends offer extended life and protect against wear, rust, and corrosion. Check out our product offerings at

About the Author
Randy Renick
Randy Renick has a Bachelor's degree from LSU. He is an STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist and has a 29 year work history in Industrial Lubrication. He is currently a Lubricant Consultant at The Industrial Lubricant Store.

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