The food and drink industry are probably more aware of the dangers of unhygienic environments than most other sectors, there are many consequences to not meeting high standards of cleanliness ranging from damaged reputation to possible legal action.
The potential for severe consequences mean that food and drink producers need to be fully aware of the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment at each stage of the process.
The flooring of any food processing environment is a particular concern and is one of the elements that can cause major hygiene issues, all sorts of ingredients can end up on the floor during food or drink processing, also, dirt brought in on staff member’s footwear or brought in on trolley wheels can add to the problem.
A floor that cannot be easily and thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis will soon be a breeding ground for bacteria and can be a cause for contamination, as will cracks and imperfections in the flooring surface, a smooth seamless and impervious surface will be much easier to keep clean and hygienic.
The flooring material used in this environment must be durable and able to hold it’s integrity for many years, if cracks start appearing this will increase the risk of contamination that could cause major problems.
Any flooring material used in a food or drink processing environment needs to be able to withstand the day to day punishment it may receive during that process, such as:
Sudden temperature changes due to things like oven or refrigerator doors being opened or the use of a steam cleaner
Many food production processes involve corrosive substances which can easily end up on the floor, such as cleaning chemicals, hot oil, sugar solutions and by-products including blood, fat and grease.
Impact and Wear
The use of heavy pallets, processing equipment, trolleys and racking can all put a lot of pressure on the floor surface and accidents such as dropped tools and equipment could damage the floor surface.
The gap between the wall and the floor is another potential area where bacteria can accumulate, to reduce this risk it is recommended that a durable coving is used to create a seamless transition between the two surfaces.
Another area that can cause problems is where the floor has drains, stainless steel drains can be set into the floor to allow liquids to drain away and reduce the risk of contamination. There should be no gaps or cracks between the flooring and the drain and the floor should gradually slope towards the drain to prevent fluids from collecting and stagnating.
Ashley Resin Flooring specialists have many years experience in the food and drinks industry and are able to advise on the best flooring finish to suit your requirements.