In addition to specialized construction and track systems, the material itself is approved for food grade use. A .040” thick, flexible and clear PVC material is used, which also has a certification of CFR Title 21 Part 174-182. In addition to this, the material itself was produced with a formulation that meets and / or exceeds the requirements of U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI Revision 22. This is a standard that is used for all FDA and USDA customers. Simply stated – this material was designed to serve facility requirements that require food grade standards.
Normal curtains have metal grommets along the top that are made of brass, nickel, copper, or other types of metal. In warehouse facilities, the general type of hardware that is used is made of some type of galvanized metal. But according to FDA Food Code 2013 4-101.15 entitled “Galvanized Metal, Use Limitation,” it states the following:
“Galvanized metal may not be used for utensils or food-contact surfaces of equipment that are used in contact with acidic food.”
In some cases, galvanized steel is sometimes used above an approved drop ceiling with a t-bar grid system – but in most cases, you may want to use stainless steel to make sure your system will help your food facility meet compliance.
In the case of curtain system components (wheeled trolley hooks, industrial curtain track rails, and/or any other retractable or stationary mounting options), friction between the two surfaces would wear down and eventually “chip” away at the galvanized metal surface. These “chips” have a strong possibility of contamination when a pressurized wash-down cycle occurs, or even if you are simply retracting the curtain.
In order to drastically reduce the possibility of contaminants affecting products and/or processes as well as follow compliance, a stainless steel industrial track system is preferred for a food processing facility when choosing to use an industrial curtain. Proper construction of a complete food grade curtain system would include stainless steel track metal hardware. Even the grommets would be stainless steel, as an added measure of safety for the food processing facility.