Ask yourself this question: At what point in the manufacturing of FDA-regulated products would you use the same equipment that your auto mechanic does to work on your car?

According to Steritool Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., even when sterilized before use, ordinary chrome-plated carbon steel hand tools still can contribute to process contamination. A sterilized carbon steel tool is still a ferrous tool, and when used against stainless steel fasteners, for example, it transfers the tool’s exposed iron particles to the surface of the stainless. In an oxygen environment with even low levels of humidity, these exposed particles react in the formation of iron oxide, or rust. Using stainless steel hand tools in the maintenance and operation of process equipment can eliminate the risk factor of ferrous contamination.

For more information on stainless steel tools, go to