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"Food safe finishes"


Q. I am looking for help on coatings/platings that are approved safe to be used in the food industry. I believe there are several approval agencies such as NSF, but I am having trouble getting normal platers or finishing houses to tell me straight out what is or isn't approved!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Alan Ifft
industrial fasteners - Highland, Illinois, USA


A. Your intended use will have direct bearing on whether or not a coating is FDA compliant. For example, we have a corrosion resistant coating that the FDA determined to be safe as a 'food contact substance' because of the impossibility of a significant amount of it getting into food.

Eric Oseas
- Cincinnati, Ohio


A. Tin plating is use for food. example: bakery pans.

don baudrand
Don Baudrand
Consultant - Poulsbo, Washington
(Don is co-author of "Plating on Plastics" [affil link to the book on: Amazon or AbeBooks ])


A. Electroless Nickel (over .001 thick?), There is also some powder coat that FDA approved. I'm sure there is more.

Chris Snyder
plater - Charlotte, North Carolina


A. In the US the USDA, United States Dept of Agriculture have made a list of which materials are, and which are not acceptable coatings for contact with food.

Bo Kønig
Food industry - Odense, Denmark

September 1, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. 1. I want to know valid metal sheet for grains & sugar storage. Is plating on mild steel(ms) sheet valid? Then which.
2. Is Fiberglass OK for grains & sugar storage?

Subodh Upadhye
- Pune, Maharashtra, India

September 1, 2012

A. Hi, Subodh.

1. Tin is a food safe plating, although solid stainless steel might be better.

2. I think you will find that isopthalic polyester resin is generally food safe. I've seen countless fiberglass food silos, so surely some fiberglass is okay. But so many different resins are available, that you need to specifically check. Plus I believe the US FDA rates materials based upon the type of food product they will touch, as well as the material of construction. That is, sugar syrup might have different requirements than grain or powdered sugar.

Sorry that I don't have a complete answer for you, but I don't think there is one without detailed study of your situation. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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