SWEPCO ISO 21469 Certified
SWEPCO ISO 21469 Certified
February 3, 2016 Notes from the Lab:
|ISO 21469 Good Manufacturing Practices For Food Grade Lubricants.
For several decades, Food Grade Lubricants only required certification of the finish lubricant. This entailed a manufacturer sending a formulation, label, and sample to a certification organization for approval to sell the lubricant in food manufacturing and handling facilities. Materials used in making Food Grade lubricants are limited and must pass a variety of health, safety, and toxicological tests. There are the GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) material which mainly are natural ingredients and many are found in foods, there is a list of acceptable materials in the Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 21 Section 178, and NSF has a list of acceptable chemicals from various suppliers. Many chemicals have strict limits as to the quantity that can be used in a formulation. Originally the certifying organization was the USDA, a branch of the U.S. Government. Depending on the formulation and end use, the lubricant would be deemed:
- H-1 for incidental food contact,
- • H-2 for no contact,
- or 3H for direct food contact.
H-1 lubricants are intended for use in food handling and processing equipment. If a drop of this lubricant should come into contact with food it can be ingested safely without ill effects. For example if a drop of an H-1 lubricant ended up in a can of corn, it would not change the taste, color, or smell of the corn and have no ill effects when eaten.
H-2 lubricants do not contain any toxic, harmful chemicals or heavy metals. They are to be used where there is no possibility of contact with food, such as forklifts and loading conveyors.
3H can come into direct contact with food or potable water. These include but not limited to meat hooks, knives, fire hydrants, slides, cooking oil, and packaging equipment.
Today there are several certifying agencies, NSF (National Sanitary Foundation) took over for the USDA in the 1990’s and is generally recognized around the world. In other parts of the world are Canada Health, QSM, and others.
Questions about food safety have been a huge concern over the past few decades, with a number of food recalls, production, cleanliness, and safety issues. All aspects of food processing and handling have been reviewed and studied including the lubricants used. Hence many food processing plants require the use of H-1 lubricants throughout the facility to eliminate the possibility of contamination.
Then the question of “What about the lubricant manufacturers?” was raised.
- Are they following good manufacturing procedures? Have they taken into account contamination risks?
- Are they using dedicated equipment for the Food Grade lubricants and not cross contaminating with regular industrial lubricants?
In response to these questions the International Standards Organization (ISO) developed standard number 21469. This standard addresses these questions and more. To be certified under this standard a manufacturer must do a risk assessment concerning contamination from various sources and a contingency plan to respond if contamination should occur. These include airborne, physical, chemical, and biological contaminates. Set procedures and equipment must be in place and all employees trained on these procedures. The manufacturing facility is then audited by a qualified certification agency and passes. The certification is good for three (3) years and must undergo a new audit to continue certification.
We are proud to announce that the Fort Worth manufacturing facility for Southwestern Petroleum Corporation has received ISO 21469 certification. Not all lubricant manufacturers have this certification and this puts us into the top tier of quality food grade lubricants. This is important as many food processing and handling facilities and some countries such as China now require this certification from their supplier.
We are continuing to provide you with the best lubricants in the world!
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For more information about ISO 21469:2006, Safety of machinery — Lubricants with incidental product contact — Hygiene requirements, please follow this link