Tip of the Week - Maintenance Chemicals

Have you reviewed your preventive maintenance program to ensure that food safety issues do not occur for lubrication practices or other maintenance chemicals?

Food Grade Vs. Non-Food Grade Lubrication

The first issue is where you are using food grade and non-food grade lubrication and that the lubrication containers such as grease guns are properly identified to prevent the use of non-food grade grease on, over or near product zone areas. For grease guns, it is recommended that clear or color-coded grease guns be used so that the proper lubrication is used in designated areas. Non-food grade grease can only be used in areas where there is not any potential for contact with the product or product zone areas. In addition, food grade and non-food grade maintenance chemicals should be stored in separate designated areas to prevent confusion or inappropriate use.

Other Maintenance Chemicals

Other maintenance chemicals that are sometimes not thoroughly reviewed for food grade status are aerosol sprays such as electrical contact cleaner, solvent sprays, paint, biocides in cooling towers, boiler treatment chemicals for culinary steam (product contact), air compressors and compressed air line lube. At minimum it is recommended that all use of chemicals that are in contact with food and food contact surfaces should be reviewed if new and audited at least once per year to confirm that food grade and non-food grade maintenance chemicals are properly identified. Your GMP inspection/audit program will confirm that lubricated bearings and gear boxes are protected by catch pans and are not located over product zone areas.

For more information, check out our GMP/Sanitation Workshop public course. There are still two opportunities to attend in 2015 or book a private session today!

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