What do the NSF ratings mean for lubricants?

H1 Rated: Lubricants with Incidental Food Contact
(Food-Grade Lubricants)

This product is acceptable as a lubricants with incidental food contact for use in
and around food processing areas.  Such compounds may be used on food
processing equipment as a protective anti-rust, as a release agent on gaskets or seals of tank closures, and as a lubricant for machine parts and equipment in locations in which there is a potential exposure of the lubricant part to food. The amount used should be the minimum required to accomplish the desired technical effect on the equipment. If used as an anti-rust film, the compound must be removed from the equipment surface by washing or wiping, as required to
leave the surface effectively free of any substance which could be transferred to food being processed. An oil or grease qualifies as an NSF H1 food-grade lubricant when, in the event of a contamination, it is present in no more than 10 mg per kg of the food in question and must not cause any physiological hazard or affect the food's odor and taste in any way.


H2 Rated: Lubricants with No Food Contact

These products are used on equipment and machine parts in locations where there is no possibility of the lubricant or lubricated part contacting edible products.  There is not a specific list of substances that may be used as lubricants where there is no possibility of food contact. There may be other substances that are not acceptable because of unfavorable toxicology or other considerations.  Therefore, each preparation will be evaluated on its own merit.


3H Rated: Release Agents or Direct Food Contact

These products are used on grills, loaf pans, cutters, boning benches, chopping boards, or other hard surfaces in contact with food products to prevent food from adhering during processing.

Some lubricants can be both H1 and 3H rated.

If you are unsure which lubricants to use, please call our Lubricant Specialists at 800-826-8302 and provide information regarding your application and we will be happy to assist you.