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Material selection for food grade application

  1. Jul 7, 2017 #1


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    Hello folks,

    Got a project I've been tasked with completing. We have a small meat locker, approximately 4' x 6', and I need to design and build an above-head rack system to hang hams and other meats on. (approximately 50 to 60 lbs each)
    Can anyone offer a good starting point for a food grade material? I was looking at some threaded stainless steel piping from McMaster, but I don't know if that is appropriate or not.
    I haven't worked up any of the stress calcs or displacement yet. That'll come after I figure out a suitable material. It will also need to bolt to the tile walls of the locker via a flange, hence the initial pipe idea.

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  3. Jul 7, 2017 #2


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    A simple search on ' stainless steels for use in food processing ' returns large amounts of useful information .
  4. Jul 7, 2017 #3


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    Why yes, thank you for that generic response.
  5. Jul 7, 2017 #4
    Do you know which food standard(s) you are building to? Can make a difference.
    We make food processing equipment and generally 304 & 316 stainless are pretty good unless you have some specific requirement for chemical cleaning or something.
  6. Jul 7, 2017 #5


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    No, this is very quick, low cost build. Identifying this as "food processing" is probably a stretch as well. It's really just a hanging system for meats that are still wrapped. Ham's, salamis, etc. I just want to cover my bases as a precaution.
    I'm sure that I am over complicating this...because I usually do. I'll look into 304 & 316, thanks.
  7. Jul 7, 2017 #6


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    We use a lot of 316 for salty process water. Racks, tanks etc. We make medical devices so similar requirements exist.

    Standard 316 is OK for machined parts but we use 316L if it is going to be welded. 316L has a lower carbon content.
  8. Jul 7, 2017 #7


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    Is this for a commercial operation? Do you get inspected by your city's Health Inspector like restaurants and food processing facilities do? If so, I would talk with them to see what they are looking for in terms of materials that are suitable for this application.

  9. Jul 9, 2017 #8
    Hi, our company uses 316L for all its Food and Bev Grade (Hygienic) products.
    The two main reasons for this, as far as I understand, is that it can withstand the typical cleaning agents using in CIP (Clean in Place) processes, and that the surface finish is smooth enough to minimize the build up of bacteria and other nasties on the surface.

    While certainly not an exciting read, I did find this link fairly interesting http://www.worldstainless.org/Files.../PDF/Euro_Inox/StSt_in_FoodandBeverage_EN.pdf
  10. Jul 12, 2017 #9


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    I apologize for going MIA on this topic. I've been dealing with sweaty concrete this week...

    Thanks. It likely will be welded.

    It is for a commercial kitchen in a hotel, so inspections are fairly routine. Talking to a health inspector is good advice. I'll probably do a quick design with 316L and send it over to one of their inspectors for a once-over.

    Thanks for the link. I'll look over it tonight.
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