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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for the ‘Stainless Steel’ Category

New Regulations For U.S. Food Supply as The Food and Safety Modernization Act goes into Effect  

October 26th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Stainless Steel

The agricultural and manufacturing world is facing big changes as the rules set forth for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) take effect in full, after the September deadline for mandatory compliance. The new standards will affect every part of the food processing and supply chain, including containers such as stainless steel process drums. FSMA According to the FDA, it will be the “most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years” and it “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”

Passed in 2011, companies began to abide by the act last September, after all of its rules were finalized. Now, the act’s year-long grace period is over, and the prevention-focus changes are officially the new status quo.

FSMA starts at the food facilities, including controls to evaluate hazards there, then requires the facilities to specify what steps, monitoring, and actions will be put into place to prevent them.

It then address moving the products with the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule, a series of new regulations on vehicles and transportation equipment, operations, training, and records for the agricultural companies. One element of the rule is that, “The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.”

Within FSMA there are a number of large, expensive adjustments that companies are making to how they operate, and it has thoroughly changed the landscape of the agricultural industry. For the first time though, the FDA will have a legislative mandate to require science-based preventive controls across the entire food supply, which seeks to reduce the frequency of foodborne diseases. Hopefully, the cost is worth the gain.

Skolnik is examining the impact of the FSMA on our products and company. At this time, our crevice-free stainless steel process drums are used extensively by our customers with exceptional demands for cleanliness.

Bourbon Theft Ring Brings Skolnik Stainless Steel Barrels into the Spotlight

December 22nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Stainless Steel

To a distiller, there is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly charred oak barrel. Except maybe a stainless steel barrel that can hold their precious bourbon for as long as is needed without tainting or affecting the flavor or age.

That’s right – American distillers use stainless steel barrels for their bourbon and other liquors, and according to Bourbon historian Michael Veach, the practice is hardly new.

To be a bourbon, whiskey has to be aged in oak. But after the aging is complete, it can be transferred to stainless steel barrels for storage. Stainless steel does not interact with the bourbon the way oak does, which means that distillers can store a final product in stainless steel without worrying that it will alter the flavor in any way.

This stainless secret came into the limelight last year when stainless steel barrels of bourbon were seized as evidence in an on-going bourbon theft ring. One of the stolen barrels was a 17-year Eagle Rare from Buffalo Trace. And just what container had Buffalo Trace entrusted to hold this expensive product? A 23-gallon, stainless steel barrel. Actually, a Skolnik Industries 23-gallon, stainless steel barrel, to be precise.

That’s right, distillers all around bourbon county are turning to Skolnik stainless steel barrels to store their precious product. And not just any bourbon, but expensive, highly sought after bourbon — that one 23-gallon barrel of 17-year Eagle Rare is worth between $11,000 and $12,000.

To learn more about the theft ring and the use of stainless steel barrels in the distillery business, read the USA Today piece about the heist. To learn more about how your distillery can benefit from stainless steel barrels, contact a Skolnik sales representative today.

What makes ‘Food Grade’ stainless steel safe?

November 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Safety, Stainless Steel

Just like academic grades, the particular ‘grade’ of stainless steel refers to how it measured up against a variety of tests and requirements. However, in the case of stainless steel, these measurements refer to its quality, durability and temperature resistance. Food grade stainless steel is steel that met all criteria to be deemed safe for food preparation, storage and dining.

The most common food grade stainless steel is Type 304. But 304 grade stainless steel also goes by another name or code, 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel. These numbers refer to the composition of the stainless steel; the amount of chromium and nickel in the product. Both 18/8 and 18/10 contain 18% chromium, and 8% or 10% of nickel respectively.

304 grade stainless steel is so popular in the food industry because of its resistance to oxidization and corrosion. The chromium protects the product from oxidization or rust, whereas the nickel content rescues the food grade drum from corrosion. The higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.

Stainless steel has become one of the most common materials found in kitchens and the food industry today. From food processing plants to large, commercial kitchens to your own kitchen at home, stainless steel is ever present. It’s corrosion and oxidization resistance paired with durability and how easy it is to clean has made stainless steel one of the safest materials in the food preparation and storage industries. In addition to resisting various acids found in meats, milk, fruits and veggies, there are also no chemicals within type 304 stainless steel that can migrate to your food, making it a safe, strong and durable choice for appliances, dishware, utensils, food storage and more.

When it comes to safety, Skolnik’s type 304 stainless steel makes the grade.

Process Drums: When and Why To Choose Them

October 6th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The classic stainless steel drum is used in countless industries and for an immense variety of materials. Stainless steel drums are inherently suited for materials that require security or maintained purity throughout transport or storage. They are easy to sterilize, naturally resist oxidization and corrosion and are available in a variety of styles, linings and closures to better suit the job and any UN or DOT specifications.

Nearly every industry has some need for a steel drum container. For industries where materials are being stored before and after undergoing special processes, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, or the fragrance and personal care industries, we recommend process drums. A process drum is a stainless steel container, typically manufactured as seamless and crevice-free, that offer extreme durability, purity and comply with domestic and international regulations. These drums feature a smooth, continuous, crevice-free interior and straight sides with no hoops to help prevent bacteria build up or other contaminants that may compromise the integrity of the materials being stored or transported.

Crevice-free, stainless steel process drums are ideal for meeting high sanitary standards and Skolnik process drums are thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards require, so you can be confident your food, chemical or personal care products are safely contained.