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Selecting Food Industry Standard Floor Finishes

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Selecting Food Industry Standard Floor Finishes

When choosing a flooring finish for food manufacture or processing facilities the big consideration, which doesn't necessarily factor in other industries, is hygiene.  Floor finishes described as food grade flooring and food safe flooring will have features to resist microbial growth and aid ease of cleaning.

Blue Resin Floor Creamery Harzfloor

Resin floor to meat market stall and cold store laid by Harzfloor

The grout joints of traditional tiled floor finishes easily collect dirt and can be difficult to clean, providing an environment for bacteria or fungus to flourish.

Similarly the joints between sheets of vinyl, rubber or linoleum start to open up after a period of time and trap dirt which is difficult to remove by normal cleaning processes.

The alternative is a seamless floor finish such as resin that is poured and laid in one session.  If there are movement joints in a concrete floor the movement joints can be maintained in the resin floor using a pourable resin jointing material.

Creating coved skirtings in the resin floor finish eliminates the junction between floor and walls so dirt can't collect there either.

As with the floor finishes, hygienic sheet wall materials such as whiterock have joints that open up over time and collect dirt.  The dirt in the joints is difficult to remove using normal cleaning processes and provide an environment for microbes to grow.  Seamless hygienic wall coatings do not have joints so are ideal for food production facilities.

Key considerations when selecting a food safe or food grade floor:

  • what sort of traffic the floor is subjected to
  • will the floor be wet?
  • what chemical resistance is required
  • what temperatures the floor will be subjected to
  • what cleaning regime is going to be implemented

A heavier duty floor finish will be required in food production facilities where forklift trucks traffic the floor than where there is just foot traffic.  Where trolleys are used the type of wheels as well as the weight of the trolleys will need to be considered.  Nylon wheels can cause significant wear and tear damage to a factory floor finish, so the floor specified must be robust enough to cope.

If an industrial floor is likely to be wet because of cleaning processes or spillages it is imperative that the surface finish still provides slip resistance even if there is standing water or liquid ponding on the surface.  Some types of resin flooring for the food industry have inherent slip-resistant properties, others require aggregates adding to the system during mixing or laying stage, so this must be considered at the specification stage.

Chemicals used during the production/manufacture of foods can attack the factory floor finishes if spilt, as can sterilizing agents for equipment and lubricants for machinery.  Cleaning chemicals can also corrode certain floor finishes.  It is important to check that the floor finishes that you are considering resist the exact type of chemicals you will be using in production processes, cleaning and maintenance.

Floor temperatures can be differ greatly in different food industry facilities.  Chillers, freezers and blast chillers will subject the floor finish to temperatures down to -20 degrees centigrade (-4 Fahrenheit).  At such low temperatures some finishes can become brittle and fail, or contract beyond their installation design.  Carrying out repairs or resurfacing at these temperatures can only be done with a very select number of materials, contact us for advice on selecting the right products.  At the other extreme ovens, friers, steamers and smokehouses can heat floor finishes.  However, it is the cleaning regime requirements that have the biggest impact in terms of subjecting the floor finish to heat.  If the floor will be steam cleaned or cleaned with very hot water you will need to use a polyurethane floor screed rather than an epoxy finish.

MORE: Food industry food grade and food safe flooring products

Red Pumadur resin flooring used in food factory

These guidelines apply to:

Abattoirs, Aerophonics Facilities, Bakeries, Biscuit Factories, Bottling Plants, Breweries, Butchers, Canning Plants, Cheesemakers, Commercial Food Production, Confectionary Factories, Creameries, Dairies, Distilleries, Farms, Fine Foods Production, Fisheries & Fish Processing, Fishmongers, Food Factories, Food Markets, Food Packaging Factories, Food Production Units, Food Wholesalers, Fruit & Veg Wholesalers, Grain Plants, Greengrocers, Hydroculture Facilities, Hydrophonics Units, Meat Processing Factories, Micro-breweries, Smokehouses, Wine Production

ARCON CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIES, 19-20 PRESTWOOD COURT, LEACROFT ROAD, RISLEY, WARRINGTON, WA3 6SB

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