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The Importance of Food-Grade Lubricants in Food Processing Industry

Factory automation systems specialist company Eagle Technologies highlighted in its published article entitled, “Greasing the Gears of the Food Industry: Food Grade Lubricants” the application of these industrial-grade lubricants as an ideal solution to prevent harmful contamination in the food processing industry. Another highlight includes the positive impact of proper food-grade lubrication of food manufacturing and processing machineries in terms of speed and performance, while also ensuring food product safety and operational efficiency.

The importance of proper lubrication to food safety is underscored by incidents in which improper lubrication had very damaging effects. According to Machinery Lubrication, there are several documented food contamination cases due to misapplication of machinery lubricants. Previous documented cases of product recalls including one in 1998 in which Smithfield Foods recalled about 490,000 pounds of ham due to the use of a nonfood-grade gear lubricant resulting to consumer complaints of burning throats and foul tastes.

Another case of wrong lubricant application was reported in 2000 that caused mass recall of 86,000 pound of deli meat and garnered complaints on the unpleasant meat taste and odor as well as intestinal health problems. Two additional cases are sited in a relevant 1994 FDA Enforcement Report involving the beverage industry and beef production. Such cases not only pose health hazards but also affect the food companies’ credibility and return on investment.

In addition to food safety, understanding the proper use of H1, food-grade lubricants significantly contributes to keeping food production on track in a cost effective manner. Despite industry myths to the contrary, modern H1 lubricants provide performance levels equal to standard, non-food grade lubricants.  Proper training of plant personnel, from upper management to the employees that actually install lubrication, is critical to enhancing both hygienic food production and cost-effective machinery maintenance.

The Industrial Lubricant Store (ILS) recognizes the need proper training and technical expertise to assist food and beverage producers with enhanced lubrication programs.  We also offer  industrial-grade lubricant products formulated using the finest synthetic base oils and advanced additive technologies to protect and extend the life of plant equipment. To learn more about ILS’ extensive line of top-quality food-grade oils and the technical assistance program, visit today.

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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