Fittings and Food:Why Certified is Safe1/6/2020
Fittings and Food:Why Certified is Safe
If you were asked to name an industry that affected your health, mood and daily schedule, the products of which are present in your house, car, lunchbox and bloodstream, would you think of the food production industry? All types and origins of food available for purchase from retailers have gone through a process to get to you. When the term, “processed food,” comes to mind, items like frozen pizzas, soda and junk food with their ingredient lists that rival the Bill of Rights in length might be at the top of the list, but even certified organic produce has to be fertilized, irrigated, harvested, stored, packaged and shipped. No matter what it is, food changes hands and is exposed to several processes before it gets to your grocery bag, and thankfully, the equipment involved in these tasks is highly regulated by state and federal governments and often analyzed by respected third-party entities to ensure that poisons, carcinogens and debris stay out of your food and out of your body. Even so, the fight against food contamination is ongoing and requires constant vigilance.
Bad food kills. In the late 1840’s, a British expedition of 129 men led by Sir John Franklin set out through the arctic in search of the fabled Northwest Passage and disappeared mysteriously. When search parties were sent out, they found only graves. It was not until the 1980’s that forensic studying of crewmember remains revealed extremely high levels of lead to be a leading cause of death. The source? Food from cans soldered shut with the toxic heavy metal. Despite modern equipment and processes, sickness and death still occur due to foodborne illness and poisoning. In 2011, an E. coli outbreak from infected Fenugreek spouts in Europe sickened 4075 people and killed 50, according to the CDC. The catastrophic effects of contamination in the food process industry are the reason why so much research, regulatory action and attention is invested to keep food pure.
Where governments define requirements for food safety, it is often up to 3rd party organizations to provide in-depth testing and certification that prove to the public that a particular product is compliant to these requirements and therefore safe. This is where organizations like NSF come in. NSF’s “…extensive suite of food safety and quality services spans every link from farm to fork including certification, testing, training, consulting, auditing and regulatory compliance (NSF.org).” When a product bears NSF’s approval, it has been deemed safe for use in food production by the highest honor in the industry.
When it comes to industrial fittings used in the food industry, not only are there concerns regarding purity of the materials used to manufacture them, but concerns of imparting unpleasant taste, resistance to cleaning chemicals and longevity in the midst of harsh, high temperature environments exist as well. Among the choices of nickel plated brass, polymer and stainless fittings certified for safe use in the food industry, only stainless steel fittings deliver on all fronts. They cost more to produce than fittings in other materials, but in the face of the competitive food production marketplace, quality and reliability is everything. Facilities that choose stainless steel are making an investment in their product and their reputation.
Aignep USA’s 60 Series stainless steel push-connect fittings are NSF certified and represent the highest quality solution available for food service use. Constructed of 316 stainless steel and sporting high-temp FKM seals, these silicon-free fittings leach no chemicals, do not form deposits, withstand temperatures up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, resist the harshest chemicals used in sterilization and have no effect on taste. In addition to these properties, both English and metric tubing sizes are offered in Aignep’s popular and trusted SWIFTFIT universal thread, so they are unmatched in versatility – Especially for facilities operating globally-sourced equipment. Backed by Aignep’s promise of quality, 60-Series fittings are a robust defense against food contamination and will out-perform and outlast virtually all other solutions.
- John Hatch, Aignep USA