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Applying the Appropriate Oil to Pass Audits

With the increasing adoption of food grade lubricants in the food, drink and drug industries, independent food-safety auditors are on the lookout for infractions to 21 CFR 178.3570 and other regulations governing oils and lubricants that may have incidental contact with food. According to Jessica Evans, business manager-nonfood compounds group at NSF, application of the appropriate oil is a must to pass today's audits. The NSF also conducts third-party audits for BRC, SQF and other certification programs approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Jim Gerard, vice president at Newark, N.J.-based Lubriplate Lubricants Co., also predicts that mandatory hazards analysis and critical control points (HACCP) programs for FDA regulated processors under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will drive noncompliant plants to the H-1 standard.

Moreover, since FSMA requires a preventive approach to potential hazards, stocking H-1 lubes across the board will help facilities preempt the chemical hazard posed by conventional lubricants, Gerard points out. This will also simplify inventory and storage issues. "Converting 100 percent to H-1 takes the guesswork out of which lubricant to use in a specific application," he says.

Historically, manufacturers use H-1 only for machinery above the conveyor line while H-2 lithium complex greases were seen as adequate below it. "You can't do that; it's a myth," says Ike Trexler, market manager for Summit Industrial Products, Tyler, Texas.

There are both mineral- or white oil-based lubricants and synthetic bases in the market. However, there are some applications where there is so much contamination that the life of the oil is very short and a synthetic isn't appropriate, says Ben Briseno, product manager for Citgo's Clarion White Oils division in Houston, but the operational advantages will eventually push greater adoption of synthetics. Also, reduced friction on wear parts, lower operating temperatures, less maintenance time and reduced disposal costs outweigh the higher cost.

Choosing the appropriate oil to use on machineries will help manufacturers pass audits. And using the highest quality of food grade lubricants is essential as well. The Industrial Lubricant Store’s food-grade lubricants are 100% OEM compatible and NSF certified. They are formulated specifically for each type of industrial equipment being used in the food services industry. 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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