When people think of industrial steel drums they almost immediately think of containers of hazmat materials and barrels of oil. However, one of the most common uses of steel drums isn’t for top secret chemicals or nuclear waste, but for something a little more pedestrian: food.
Food Grade Steel drums are common shipping and storage containers for ingredients and consumables. Shipping ingredients from the original source to where they are needed for production or storing products for curing are important steps in the production of many foods and beverages. Our wine barrels and food grade 304 stainless steel drums are popular options for the wine and food processing industries because they are food safe. In fact, you probably have some food grade 304 stainless steel in your kitchen – it’s the same steel used in a lot of cookware.
The name of the game is keeping the contents and future consumers safe. That’s why every last inch of a drum must be made from food safe steel or other material. Everything from the fittings in the open head cover to the gaskets must be so safe you could eat off of it.
In instances where food grade stainless steel is too expensive, a facility could use a carbon steel drum but must use a food grade lining to keep any contents from potential contamination by the carbon steel. A plastic liner made of a food safe material or an epoxy phenolic lining are the best solution when using a carbon steel barrel for transport of foodstuffs.
Pay close attention to any regulations regarding transport of the particular consumables you are working with as some food or drink products or ingredients in concentrated forms may be classified by the Department of Transportation as a Dangerous Good. These transportation situations would require a UN certified package, like a Skolnik barrel, in addition to meeting food grade requirements.
Safety and security is key. You want to keep your product or ingredients safe during transport and storage in order to ensure they remain safe to consume in the future. Next time you grab a snack or drink, consider the care that went into keeping that product safe and enjoyable and remember that steel drums are used everywhere and for everyday uses, not just the explosions you see in the movies.