Originally Posted by gointomexico
Can you tell me or send me the information on why stainless steel drums are no longer approved for food use?
its basically due to the fact that the drums could have previously contained any number of chemicals that may or may not be removed thru cleaning, so the FDA just puts a blanket ban on reusing drums (any type, carbon, stainless...) that were once used for anything but food, for food use again.
if you are using these in a commercial brewery (ie. selling your products to the public), its really up to the person from the health dept. inspecting your equipment. it IS against the law to use used barrels of unknown origin for food use. whether or not they choose to enforce the law, either now or sometime in the future, is another issue. its always possible that you get a free pass now, but next year a different inspector comes along, who asks about the barrels and has a different oppinion on their use. the law exists in the interest of public safety, and to ensure that you arent poisoning your customers (knowingly or otherwise).
if you dont believe me, call the FDA
and ask if its legal to store food or beverage for human consumption in reconditioned steel (or stainless steel) barrels. they will tell you what i just did.
however, using them for homebrewing... while technically still illegal, IMO its just up to you whether you feel comfortable with it or not. no one is going to come to your house and hassle you about it (unless you actually DO end up poisoning someone and it becomes an issue, then you will be in some hot water... especially if they find this forum post and can prove that you knew beforehand that you shouldnt use used barrels...oops, sorry!).