What Standards Should Be Followed for Sanitary Piping Fabrication?

January 1, 2019 12:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In the food processing industry, all equipment that has contact with food must meet particular standards of sanitary design to ensure the safety and purity of the foods being processed. Following these standards helps keep the equipment itself clean and sanitized regularly. Therefore, it is necessary for food processors to abide by these standards when installing new or upgraded equipment.

The U.S. has three primary organizations that develop standards for food processing equipment: 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc., the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Underwriters Laboratories. Each organization is used in certain sectors of food processing and may even be required by your state. However, the different sets of standards by each organization share many similarities, which helps provide a baseline for standards in sanitary piping and other food processing equipment.

When metal fabrication services in Umatilla County, OR create sanitary piping or other equipment for the food processing industry, they must refer to the following standards to ensure that the equipment stays safe for years to come.


Certain materials must be used in sanitary piping to create a safe, long-lasting surface for food to touch. Stainless steel is a standard material for sanitary piping because it is cost-effective, resistant to corrosion and durable. While other materials like other (more expensive) metals, as well as some non-metals, may be used, stainless steel is the most common material used in food processing plants.

There are multiple types of stainless steel that metal fabrication services in Umatilla County, OR can use when crafting sanitary piping, but the lowest possible standard is grade 304. Higher grades are better at resisting corrosion, but also come at higher prices.

In addition, sanitary piping materials must be smooth, free of cracks and crevices, nonporous and cleanable. Fabricators must be careful when welding sanitary piping to ensure the final equipment meets these requirements.


Because pipes cannot be taken apart easily for cleaning, they need to be designed in a way that promotes proper sanitation. Piping systems must always be designed in a way in which they slope to drain. No pipes may sit where fluid or substances can settle or build up on the bottom.

Pipe connections and joints must be carefully created to be smooth and durable. In the food processing industry, welded joints need to be polished to a particular “grit” to create as smooth of a surface as possible.

Finally, no sharp corners can be used in sanitary pipes. All corners must be rounded to allow for smooth flow and prevent buildup.

Contact a premier metal fabricator for your sanitary piping

If your business handles food processing and is in need of new metal equipment or sanitary piping that meets the stringent sanitary standards listed above, contact NW Metal Fabricators Inc. We offer top-of-the-line metal fabrication services in Umatilla County, OR.

While we specialize in the custom production of storage bins, conveyors, catwalks, handrails, gates, storage tanks, water heater tanks, sanitary piping, steam piping and trailer truck hitches for food processing plants, we can also do welding and metal fabrication work for other clients, as well. Call today to learn more!

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