Safe Chemical Usage in the Food Industry

Food quality and safety are two of the most challenging issues in the current regulatory environment that are of great concern to today's health-conscious consumers. Whether you are testing for contaminants or developing a new production process, we're here to help. Our knowledgeable team, innovative products, and an array of chemical storage, material handling and workplace safety solutions enable you to maintain your focus where it should be - on delivering food products that meet the highest standards of food quality, safety, and authenticity that today's demanding consumers worldwide expect.


Typical storage considerations may include temperature, ignition control, ventilation, segregation, and identification. Proper segregation is necessary to prevent incompatible materials from inadvertently coming into contact. If incompatible materials were to come into contact, fire, explosion, violent reactions, or toxic gases could result. When segregating chemicals, acids should not be stored with bases, and oxidizers should not be stored with organic materials or reducing agents. Physical barriers and/or distance are effective for proper segregation.

If lockers or buildings are used to segregate chemicals, consider the compatibility of the chemicals with the storage unit. For example, corrosives, like strong acids and caustics, will corrode most metal cabinets. Epoxy-painted cabinets are available and will provide a better service life with these types of chemicals. Some acids and bases may damage the epoxy-painted surfaces of a storage unit if a spill occurs. For dispensing or interim storage, corrosives, like strong acids and caustics, will corrode most metal cabinets. Epoxy-painted, stainless steel and polyethylene dispensing stands, and spill pallets are available and will provide a better service life with these types of chemicals. Some acids and bases may damage the epoxy-painted surfaces of a storage unit if a spill occurs, so prompt spill clean-up and regular facility housekeeping are essential for safety.

Exceptional care should be taken likewise when transferring corrosives to ensure compatibility with pump works, jugs, sprayers or storage cans for safety and service life. Finally, take care when selecting PPE to ensure compatibility and mobility, while maintaining a reasonable replacement, cleanliness, and inspection program.

Chemicals play an important role in many workplace applications. The inherent hazards of chemicals can be reduced by minimizing the quantity of chemicals on hand. However, when chemicals must be in-house, proper storage and handling can reduce or eliminate some of the associated risks. One must answer several questions when considering bulk and interim storage, handling and dispensing, and product usage by company staff such as:

  • Is the chemical a flammable?

  • Is the chemical a corrosive?

  • Does the chemical need to be stored other than at ambient temperature?

  • Is the chemical an oxidizer or reducer?

  • What are the incompatible chemicals that may also be used in the facility that need to be separated or isolated from each other when used or stored?

  • Is the chemical light sensitive?

  • Does the chemical require any special handling procedures, storage or transfer considerations for the food industry or company practice, site specific circumstances?