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Published in Food Safety

What is the link between food safety, certifications and lubricants? The legislator provides extremely clear guidelines for proper risk management, such as the correct use of the lubricant and the parameters of maximum contamination.


Often one intend to be cautious, choosing the lubricant in base of the NSF approval: the more the approval is perceived as safe (for example 3H), the more one tends to identify the lubricant itself as a solution free of health risks. In fact, the NSF approval alone is not enough to ensure adequate risk management. It is necessary to take into account many other aspects that make it possible to identify the extent from different points of view, thus satisfying what is the so-called correct use of the lubricant. In fact, it may happen that a NSF 3H product used improperly may be more dangerous from the microbiological point of view than a NSF H1 approved lubricant, or it may not guarantee the necessary technical performances with the consequent risk of breakage or accidents related to them.

The first real step is therefore the study of the application together with the definition of the objectives to be achieved: in this way it is possible to select without any risk of error both the type of lubricant and the most correct homologation from a regulatory point of view. However, the work does not end here: it is necessary to find a balance between the full quality of the production process and the technical-maintenance efficiency; also in this case the normative data gives us useful indication on how and when to use different types of lubricants. For example, having established that a NSF H1 lubricant must to be used because it meets all the requirements of the application, it is necessary to quantify the possible risk: the parameters of maximum contamination thus become the room for manoeuver to ensure full safety. 

Knowing the regulatory compliance and exposure limits is a determining factor in avoiding possible disputes regarding the finished product. Klüber Lubrication, a member of the EHEDG (European Hygienic Equipment Design Group), in addition to developing special lubricants certified according to ISO 21469 and registered as NSF H1, 3H and HT1, offers highly specialized technical advice to help companies in the food industry choose the most suitable lubricant.