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The Importance of Food-Grade Lubricants in Manufacturing and Shipping

Austin Winder Aug 23, 2019
We eat food that were processed or near machinery all the time without thinking about it. How essential is it that the lubricant used in that machinery is food-grade lubricant?

The Importance of food-grade lubricants when working with food products

Food-grade lubricants are used in the manufacturing process when they are present around foods and food products.
There are a number of items that need to be used alongside foods, and there are more that are used in the transportation of food or the movement of food products around a processing plant.
There are a few designations that you need to know, and each of them is a little bit different depending on their purpose. Your business might use food-grade lubricants every day, but you must ensure that you have ordered the appropriate products.

The Designations Are:


H1 is the designation for food-grade lubricants that are used in facilities where the lubricant may come into contact with food.
This distinction is quite important because you are not using this product on any foods so much as you are using in all the places where food might be. If you think that these machines or devices will be in the same general areas as food, you must use H1.
Remember that incidental contact is the standard in the field. You do not want this oil on your foods, but it can come into contact with food products here and there.


H3 lubricants are edible oils that are used to prevent rust and wear on dollies, conveyor belts, trollies, and other food processing equipment. This oil is safe to use in all your food production facilities, and it could be helpfulĀ in avoiding as much contamination as possible.
These are the lubricants used in food trucks, for example.
Again, you should not allow these lubricants to simply be in a food product. The idea is that it is safe enough to appear in trace amounts in a completed food product.


P1 lubricants are not meant to come anywhere near food and should only be used in non-food processing plants. Because of this, you may use P1 lubricants when you are not involved in the food industry at all.
If you have a plant that does not handle food or manages certain machines that do not come into contact with food, you can use a P1 lubricant.

Incidental Contact

Incidental contact is the standard by which all food-grade lubricants are measured. You must ensure that you know how your food processing plant works, how you manage your machines, and which machines require a special type of lubricant.
You cannot simply allow general contact with foods in your plant because lubricants are not meant to be on food. When there is a bit of contact, that is alright in the eyes of the law.


Buying food-grade lubricants takes a bit of wisdom and forethought. You must find the lubricants that will work in your facility, that will help you save money, and that will keep your food products safe.
If you run plants that do not deal with food at all, you can try other lubricants that are meant for use in traditional facilities.