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Jessica Evans Business Unit Manager, Nonfood Compounds, NSF International

With food safety awareness at an all-time high and new and emerging food supply chain threats recognised on a continual basis, governments around the world are working to improve regulations to safeguard food. Multiple events have occurred over the past several years that have caused this concern in the food industry; anthrax attacks, melamine in food, foodborne illnesses and additional product recalls. The events of 11 September 2001 reinforced the need to enhance the security of the United States, so the Bioterrorism Act was established in 2002, which also impacted the food safety industry. These events caused the US Government to place additional requirements on products imported into the US and the development of the Food Protection Plan. Greater funding was made available and more control was given to authorities to reinforce the food supply safety.

All of these actions led to the passage of the FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) into law on 4 January 2010 by President Barack Obama and Congress. The measure reflects a significant change in the US food safety laws. This legislation mandates preventive measures by growers, processors and distributors, providing for increased inspections and gives the FDA greater regulatory authority. Using registered products in food pro -

cessing facilities has never been more important. Ensuring compliance with the increased food industry requirements relies primarily on traceability and sourcing decisions being made for materials used in this capacity. There are key areas to consider when evaluating your quality system.

Focusing on lubricants Lubricants, greases, oils and hydraulic fluids are


used to lubricate moving parts in food processing equipment to protect against wear and corrosion, to dissipate heat caused by friction and to provide sealing effects. These lubricants may pose a potential health risk if cross-contamination with food products occurs. One method of reducing this risk is to incorporate sanitary equipment design into facility planning, although in reality, the potential for contact of the lubricant with the food product cannot be entirely negated. Some level of contamination will likely occur from leaks or drips off chains, conveyor belts and gearboxes, and oil and grease can be exposed on equipment at critical points of operation. Ensuring the use of food grade lubricants is a simple and logical method for effectively mitigating chemical hazards associated with potential lubri- cant contamination. Based on the requirements outlined in FSMA, there are five key areas where lubricants

newfood Volume 15 | Issue 1 | 2012

Copyright: Klüber Lubrications

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