There are so many different types of oils available, with companies like Shell, Fuchs and Mobil all selling several varieties, that it can sometimes be tough to know which lube will be the most suitable for your company.
One of the things that most confuses buyers is whether or not they need to use a food grade lubricant.
What are food grade lubes?
Food grade greases are lubricants that are safe to be ingested in small quantities, should a leak occur in production. A lube is considered to be of food grade standard (NSF H1 food grade) providing that, if contamination occurs, it is not present in over 10mg per pack of food and that it will not cause a physical hazard to anyone ingesting it. It also must not change the taste or smell of the ingredients it leaks onto.
Do I need to use food grade lube?
If you are using machinery to handle or pack food, then you will most likely need to use a quality food grade lubricant. This is because there is the potential for oil and grease to leak out of the machinery onto food. If this happens, you need to know that any meals you have produced will still be safe for ingestion.
If you are using an approved food grade lube, like the Fuchs Cassida line, then you could rest easy in the knowledge that your products would not be tainted by a potentially hazardous material.
This is important because it will mean that, providing the oil only leaks onto your product in a small amount, you will not have to dispose of it. This saves you from wasting a huge amount of product, which would obviously cost your business dearly.
Not only that, but should any of the lube leak onto your products without your knowledge, you will not be harming your customers by selling them foodstuffs that have been tainted with non-safe oil.
Which food grade lube do I need?
There are three categories of food grade lubes; H1, H2 and H3. You may need one or more depending on your setup.
H1 lubes can be used in food processing factories, where it is possible that a leak could conceivably occur.
H2 lubes can be utilised for machinery and equipment with limited potential for contact between oil and ingredients.
H3 oils are edible oils, which are usually used on hooks and trolleys, which come into contact with food, to prevent rusting.