Maintenance Chemical Safety

Proper maintenance of machinery often involves the use of chemicals, so many in fact that it’s worth your while to double check your own preventative maintenance schedules to ensure that those that can be used around food and those that can’t are where they need to be, and not being used in possibly hazardous ways. Here are a few specifics to keep in mind:

  • First to consider is food grade vs non-food grade lubricants. Be sure that both kinds are color coded or otherwise clearly marked to ensure that the one used on grease guns isn’t also used on or around food product areas. Non-food grade grease should only be kept where there is zero potential for it to come into contact with food products of any kind.
  • Aerosol sprays are ubiquitous enough within any production facility that their presence must also be carefully color coded, marked, or otherwise kept strict track of. They should be stored in completely separate areas so as not to contaminate any other area where foods are made. This includes a number of solvents, contact cleaners, biocides in cooling towers, boiler treatment chemicals and paints.
  • Be sure to audit all of your chemicals whenever a new one is added to your maintenance schedule, and at least once a year after that. Include whether they are food or non-food grade, where they should be stored, how they should be handled, and where they should and shouldn’t be used.