Application of Stainless Steel and Studs for Food-Grade Welding

Over the last 100 years, huge leaps have been made in the global food supply chain and the protection of food safety. The first federal regulations that began our national food safety journey started as early as 1906 with the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Later, the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957, the Egg Products Inspection Act of 1970, and several other hallmark legal changes were made to our food supply system. In more recent years, the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 began to shift the focus of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from reacting to events of foodborne illness to instead working actively to prevent those occurrences. There are many ways our food industry can work to reduce, and eventually eliminate, outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, including in the design and construction of food-grade equipment. Food service equipment from the factory floor to commercial kitchens can all see vast improvements to hygiene when they are built with stainless steel and stud welding operations. Stud welding is one of the most sanitary manufacturing operations when it comes to food safe assemblies. If you’re working with food-grade welding for any type of service equipment, Northland Fastening Systems (NFS) has the supplies and tools you need to get the job done. We provide a comprehensive selection of welding studs, accessories, tools for rent and purchase, and the expertise of our own welding technicians.

Food-Grade Welding

There are many aspects to food-grade manufacturing, including eliminating the risk of harborage by removing nooks and crannies, building in full washdown capabilities for sanitation, utilizing anti-microbial materials, and sealing all connection points.

Building with stud welding and stainless steel goes a long way in establishing food service and industrial food processing equipment as “food quality.” Both stainless steel and the use of studs as fasteners are significant components of food-grade welding under FDA and NSF/ANSI regulations.

FDA and NSF/ANSI Compliant

Both the FDA and NSF/ANSI work to regulate different sections of the food industry to support safety and quality. This ranges from daily practices of manufacturers to the sourcing and distribution of materials.

1. Fasteners: All types of fasteners for food equipment should meet strict FDA and NSF/ANSI specifications. Fasteners must be made from noncorrosive materials that can seal, rather than bolt, framework. Because of this, studs are an ideal fastening system for food-grade equipment. Not only does it seal a surface permanently, it can also be installed with access to only one side of a work surface and result in a clean, low profile connection.

2. Materials: Studs can readily be used to connect frameworks made from stainless steel parts, sheeting, and other components. Stainless steel is fortified against corrosion and can offer a highly sanitary, low-microbe work surface for food preparation.

Whether you are building with food-grade welding or another application of stud welding, we can help. Contact NFS at (651) 730-7770 or request a quote online for more information about food safety and our supplies.