Jul 1, 2021

What is H1 Food Grade Lubricant Classification?


H1 is the standard

We at PLC would like to clear up an industry misunderstanding about what constitutes a lubricant that may have incidental contact with food.

This approval is H1, which was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by them until 1998. It was then re-opened by a private entity called the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) in the year 2002.

Since that date until July 2008, H1 approval was handled exclusively by NSF because they insisted all labelling of approved products show their prominent logotype – not the H1 code people began to confuse the standard with. NSF did change their registration mark to include the category code at a later date.

The NSF logo does not necessarily mean the product is H1 compliant – be sure to always look for H1.

Under a period of six (6) years, NSF had the monopoly of all registrations and evaluation of non-food compounds (including lubricants with incidental food contact). The prominent logotype and the extended time this mark has been used for H1 products, have led to a misunderstanding by many users that NSF is the only available registration body.

However, this is incorrect.

The standard is described and determined by the FDA 21 CFR list of compounds and the evaluation of various applications of these materials can be made by any competent institution or body. Today, there are two bodies active on the market; NSF and 2Probity. Any of these two can make the evaluation and registration. The standard for lubricants with incidental contact with foodstuff is H1.

When using H1 registered products, the guidelines are that a maximum of 10 ppm (parts per million) may contaminate the food stuff. If any other product (not registered as H1) is used, the contamination level allowed is zero (0). If any contamination of food stuff occurs, exceeding these limits, the produced batch must be withdrawn and is not allowed into market in any way in accordance with current European law for food and feed products (EC 178/2002).