Food Grade Lubricants must now be used
if there is any contact with food, or food
packaging or food packaging material.
The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) in conjunction
with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) recently launched
a Food Grade Compressed Air Code of Practice to assist
food producers in regulating their supply of compressed
air. However, the regulation itself did not set specific
targets or limits that should be employed. This code
of practice has been developed to clarify and regulate
the use of compressed air that is used in any part of
the 'farm to table' production process.
As such, both compressed air that is used in direct
contact with food production as well as compressed air
that does not come into contact with the food product
but forms part of the production process are considered
in the Code of Practice.
The Food Industry has faced increasing pressure in recent
times to adhere to extremely high standards of hygiene
and health & safety when preparing food produce.
Consequently, the use of oil lubricated compressors
in the food production process has from time to time
come under attack and caused widespread concern.
Compressed air users should not be alarmed about the
new Code of Practice as it clearly confirms that both
oil lubricated as well as oil free compressors are acceptable
methods of generating compressed air for use in the
Food Industry. Companies who are already using oil lubricated
compressors in their food production process should
not panic and feel that they have to rush out and purchase
an oil free compressor. This is not necessary so long
as they are using a Food Grade compressor lubricant
such as Morris Lubricant FG-68 available from Airware
The main requirements for the food manufacturer's operating
a compressed air system are:
Food manufacturer's must complete a "Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Point" (HACCP) process as
a risk assessment to etermine whether or not the compressed
air comes into contact with the food.
- Class 1 quality air is a prerequisite. When the compressed
air is generated by oil-lubricated compressors the lubricant
MUST be Food Grade.
- An air purity test should be carried out twice a year
to confirm the air quality.
- Where the air comes in contact with food it must have
a - 40C dewpoint. That means a suitably sized desiccant
dryer must be fitted into the system.
- All compressed air equipment should be maintained in
accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
- There must be a planned preventative maintenance programme
in place that also meets the requirements of the Pressure
Systems regulations and hygiene requirements.
- Records of maintenance, air quality tests etc should
be documented and recorded.
In reality many food manufacturing plants will already
comply and the requirement for air quality testing and
a documented preventative maintenance regime will cause
very little anxiety. If in doubt - contact us for advice.
‘F’ gas regulations - Does your business
use air conditioning, heat pumps, refrigeration or compressed
The European Union's F-gas Regulation No 842/2006 became
law on 4 July 2006. This imposes obligations on "operators"
of this equipment from 4 July 2007 that you should know
about. F-gases include Huffs, which are the commonest
refrigerants in use today. The Regulation aims to minimise
emissions of these gases, which affect global warming
if they escape into the air.
"Operators" are defined as the people or
organisations that have actual power over the technical
functioning of the equipment. For stationary refrigeration,
air conditioning, heat pumps or compressed air dryers
with over 3kg charge (6 kg only if fully hermetically
sealed), operators must:
• Prevent leakage, and repair any leaks as soon
• Arrange proper refrigerant recovery by certified
personnel during servicing and disposal
• Carry out leak checks to the schedule shown
• Ensure that only certified competent personnel
carry out leakage checks
• Maintain records of refrigerants and of servicing
As far as compressed air dryers are concerned, most
dryers over 250 cfm (about 7 m3 /min) will be affected.
For non-stationary equipment (e.g. mobile units on
trucks) and any other products containing F-gases, operators
must ensure that appropriately qualified personnel are
used to recover gases, as long as this is feasible and
not excessively expensive.
Leak checking schedule
The checking (to be done in a way to be defined in
detail by the EC) varies depending on the amount of
refrigerant in the system:
• At least annually for applications with 3kg
or more of F-gases (6kg only if the unit is fully hermetically
• At least once every six months for applications
with 30kg or more of F-gases
• At least once every three months for applications
with 300kg or more of F-gases
• Leakage detection systems must be installed
on applications with 300 kg or more of F-gases.
• If a leak is detected and repaired, a further
check must be carried out within one month.
Maintenance and servicing records
Operators of stationary systems containing 3kg (6kg
if hermetically sealed) or more of F-gases must maintain
• Quantity and type of F-gases installed, added
• Identification of the company or technician
carrying out servicing
• Dates and results of leakage checks
It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that
the relevant servicing personnel have obtained the necessary
certification, which shows that they understand the
regulations and are competent.
How to know how much F-gas is in the system
The system should be labelled with this information.
Do also remember that R 22 gas, a very common gas in
older refrigeration and older compressed air dryers
will no longer be available after 2010.
If in any doubt, call us and we can check your compressed
air systems and advise on record keeping.
Water Industry Act - Last updated: (February 2005)
The Water Industry Act came into force in 1991 and consolidates
various enactments relating to the appointment of water
and sewerage undertakers, conditions of appointment, supply
of water and the provision of sewerage services. The Sections
of the Act which are of particular importance to industry,
concern the criteria for discharging effluent into the
And that means condensate waste from ALL compressed air
So, what does that mean to you?
There are really only three options when it comes to
copressor condensate waste.
We are very happy to advise you on how best to proceed.
Please contact us.
- Take the risk, dump it on the floor or in a gully
or wherever. Eventually ‘they’ will catch
you out and could fine you up to £50,000.
- Have the condensate removed by a licensed waste
contractor. For that you will need to register with
The Environment Agency and get a Registration Number,
and of course, pay a fee! And pay the Waste Contractor!
- Have the Compressed Air Condensate
Waste processed with a low cost simple to install
Oil – Water Separator, and have the contaminated
concentrated waste removed when (we) service your
compressor and your Oil – Water Separator.