Talking with a colleague recently, we came to the topic of ‘food-grade’. In the food manufacturing industry, the term food grade is normally used to distinguish products which may come into direct contact with the material that is processed in the manufacture and packaging of food items. This is specially important for things like paint, machine oils and even things like ladles and stirrers.
Food that comes into contact with paint used in a processing plant will not be contaminated and or affected by such contact. Likewise, with machine oil/s, which may find itself in contact with food products. These should be non-toxic. Things like ladles and stirrers should also be non-toxic, preferably inert so as not to affect whatever is touched.
Usually for rubber products used in food manufacture, non-toxic means that when we should be able to consume food that is safe and non-contaminated.
While we may apply the term food grade some of our anti-slip and anti-fatigue mats used in food manufacturing, this is done more by extension than by strict use of the term. After all, should food material touch the mat, this should surely be discarded and not re-introduced into the manufacturing or packaging process.
Which brings me to recent order, actually re-order enquiry. Originally, we were approached at the time for some food grade rubber matting to go into a wet area processing line. The rubber anti-fatigue mats were asked to be
- food grade rubber mats
- excellent water drainage
- superb anti fatigue properties
- resistant to high concentrations of caustic cleaning chemicals.
Knowing the company was a global food processing company attention to detail with all the requests was given very careful consideration. Our representative even used “110%” to describe the approach.
Amco was chosen to supply the Workease anti fatigue mats, as they were the best choice considering all the criteria requested. Recently, after some nine years of double shifts, the company came back to us wanting to replace the mats. When asked what criteria they had to meet of what they wanted to replace them with. The comment was, “Well, we have purchased load of different types of food grade and natural rubber mats over the years and these have really stood out in being very comfortable and lasted longer than all other cheaper alternatives.
The only comment made by the person who re-ordered from us was “the mats were getting a bit sticky”. And, considering the use the mats would have been given in those many years of aggressive use, we would certainly be very happy with this comment.
BTW, the company is Simplot Australia. Oh, if the name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe some of their brand names will: Birds Eye, John West, Leggo’s, Edgell, lean Cuisine, Seakist, Harvest, Chiko, I & J, Ally, Top Cut, Five Tastes, Simply Great Meals.
The photos included here were sent by the user, so you can also take a good look at their state and the use they’ve been put through. The close-up photo shows that despite all the years of hard use, the mats are still in pretty good shape. (The photos have been supplied by Simplot Australia.)
So, you can rest assured that our “food grade” anti-slip, anti-fatigue mats are as good as we say they are. If you have any queries or wish to discuss your needs, please contact us now.