Different Lubricants For The Compressed Air Line In Your Restaurant

A compressed air line system in your restaurant can be quite helpful if you are processing foods. Proper lubrication of the system will keep it functioning well and save you from having to make many repairs. However, you need to choose the lubricating medium according to how you will use the system.

No Contact with Food Items

If you will be using the compressed air strictly for cleaning items that are not going to be used in the preparation, storing or serving of food, you can use a nonfood grade lubricant that falls under the classification of H2. Cleaning the floors, washing down tables and chairs, or cleaning restroom fixtures are activities that can be done with a compressed air system that uses nonfood grade lubricants. Non-food grade lubricants include silicon spray, aerosol dry Moly (ADM) lubricant and non-organic oils and greases that contain no carcinogens.

Possibility of Food Contact

There will be times when the compressed air will be used on an item that may come into contact with food. These are classified as H1 lubricants. A good example would be the cleaning of an exhaust hood. While you do not cook on the hood, when you clean it with compressed air, some of the lubricant may be blown onto the hood and then drip down onto the food.  Any pneumatic machines used to shape or cut foods, like frozen meats, must also use H1 lubricants. These lubricants often have natural ingredients as well as some synthesized ingredients, such as cassida chain oil.

Food Contact

When the part or air is going to come in direct contact with food, such as using the high pressured air to cut meat or for the cooling down of foods fresh out of the oven, only H3, food grade lubricants may be used. These include lubricants like vegetable oils, lards and other rendered animal fats. Any equipment you clean with the compressed air that will come into contact with food, such as grills, meat hooks or stock pots must also fall under this category.

If you are using compressed air for a number of different applications in your restaurant, be sure to use the lubricant that is the most restrictive. In other words, if you use it to power wash the parking lot, which would require an H2 lubricant, but also use it to power the meat cutter, you would need to use at the minimum an H1 lubricant. Of course, just to be on the safe side, you can use an H3 lubricant at all times. This way, the health department cannot cite you for having the wrong lubricant in your air system.