In the food grade industry there are a lot of aspects regarding lubricants that can simplify the auditing process and fulfill all the requirements of NSF food plant compliance. Currently the NSF recognizes three certification classes that can be implemented in the machinery used in food processing. H-2, 3H and H-1 are the three classifications the lubricants must meet in order to be deemed appropriate for a food processor not only in Washington state but through the entirety of the U.S as well as many other countries outside the U.S. H-2 lubricants are to be used in a food processing facility only when there is no potential for contact with food. 3H is the certification required for lubricants used in direct contact situations. The most critical piece of the three grades being H-1 is where the 21469 certification is of paramount importance. H-1 is a lubricant that must be used when there is potential for incidental food contact. It comes down to the parts per million that come into contact with the food or the machinery involved in the processing, storage and transportation.
For H-1 lubricants the 21469 certification plays a tremendous role in keeping the lubricants food grade certified from the point of manufacture. ISO 21469 signifies an NSF rating that the lubricant itself was processed in a facility that only manufactures H-1 grade lubricants. This guarantees the lubricant used in areas of your facility that have potential for incidental food contact won’t have any compounds that could be deemed H-2 or “no food contact.” It is the ultimate certification for food processors, to show during an audit, the guaranteed safety for human consumption and/or contact. Any H-1 lubricants that lack the 21469 certification run the risk of contamination of non-food grade additives, metals and many other contaminants. If you want to keep your food plant audit proof and significantly reduce any chance of a recall, make sure to use H-1 rated lubricants, but more importantly, make sure they are registered with the NSF with ISO 21469 to guarantee the lubricants have nothing but components safe for consumption.
– Opinion Piece by Overlake Oil Employee