Food & Drinks

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Food & Beverage / Drinks Industry

The food and beverage / drinks industries are huge and some of the most regulated in the UK, and quite rightly for the health of us all. Food and beverage / drinks industries include pretty much everything from ‘farm to fork’ and include facilities to raise, produce, prepare, cook, package and serve all types of meat and dairy products, fish and sea foods, fruits and vegetables, brewing and all other alcoholic and soft drinks of every type. These food & drink manufacturing industries have several general requirements such as overall hygiene and ease of cleaning, plus more product specific demands such as chemical resistance and even being static dissipative (ESD) in areas for flour and some other fine powders. Across the industry, there are also significant areas with requirements for impact and abrasion resistance for loading and unloading, plus bottling and packaging for distribution and sale.

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The floors in food and beverage industry facilities are obviously a key element in meeting all these requirements and allowing the business processes to continue, with the most important overall demand in food and drinks plants, probably being the ability to ensure that these production and processing areas are always clean and hygienic. Therefore, providing floor surfaces that are impermeable, watertight, and easy to clean, in order to to prevent the build-up of bacterial growth is therefore essential to do this effectively. These floor surfaces must also be reliable and durable in service to maintain the high standards required, particularly as many of these industries and businesses operate almost 24/7, with limited opportunities for floor maintenance.

When choosing a new floor finish in the food and drinks industry, it is obviously key that it can be maintained easily, and that it is also fast and easy to clean, as due to the continuous nature of these businesses, time is definitely money, and any downtime and closures must be kept to a minimum. Food and drink industry floors will also need to be resistant to the sometimes corrosive products and by-products such as acidic ingredients and natural food acids, alkalis, sugars, oils and grease, and other organic compounds, as well as the necessary cleaning chemicals and many other contaminants. Temperature resistance is also a factor with the food and drinks industry working with hot and cold areas, from the ovens and fryers, to chillers and freezers. Where heavy machinery and forklifts or other vehicles are in use the impact and abrasion resistance is also a key factor in the choice of the right resin flooring solution for your food industry project – As said previously, all the way from ‘farm to fork’.

In addition to the resistance and properties of the resin flooring system itself, there are also many other important aspects of both new and refurbishment floors that need to be considered, such as the floor detailing and especially at connections. These include minimising any joints and sealing at connections between the resin floor and fitted plant and equipment, and to adjacent surfaces, ensuring a seamless and impervious surface in the whole area, and thus also preventing any dirt and bacteria build-up. Also, this includes forming insitu coving to vertical surfaces and incorporating the appropriate falls and sealed with gullies and drainage systems. These are frequently made of stainless steel or composite materials that are also chemically resistanct and need to be installed for the complete resin flooring solution.

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Flooring for the Food & Drinks Industry – Technical Considerations

Hygiene – Tough and easy to clean, seamless surfaces with minimal corners and minimal maintenance are the standard food industry flooring requirement.

Chemical resistance – What and where any forms of corrosive substances are handled or stored, including every ingredient in the process and cleaning regimes required.

Impact and abrasion resistance – What and where are any areas subject to impact and abrasion in service and are any specific areas likely to come under high impact?

Slip and skid resistance – These requirements are obviously dependent on the environment and the need for access and transit by people and/or vehicles i.e. Are the floors in a predominantly wet or dry area, and if they do get wet, what is the cleaning regime? What type of traffic uses the floor i.e. people and / or vehicles, and what type of vehicles and with what frequency, plus can designated walkways / tracks / roadways be provided? Cleaning always needs to be balanced with safety and sometimes slip resistance is more about footwear, using smooth surfaces to facilitate cleaning etc.

Detailing requirements – As mentioned the drainage details are usually the most important to pre-plan, but the treatment of any structural joints will also be important as will the connections from the new floor to all of the adjacent areas and surfaces, including any heavy machinery and equipment to be installed in, through or on the new resin floor surface. Coving to vertical surfaces and to reduce tight corners are all helpful to ensure a micro-organism free environment.

Fire resistance – Even in the food industry it is important that appropriate fire resistance and behaviour in fire certification should be provided for the flooring solutions, as and when required, especially for enclosed and restricted access environments.

Electrical resistance – Not widely known, but fine powders such as floors can be a risk and in danger of ignition by stray currents such as static discharge. The use of Anti-static resin flooring and ESD (Electro-Static Dissipative) resin flooring solutions are ideal and designed for these specialist areas – please refer to our Anti-Static & ESD Resin Flooring page

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When looking for a new resin floor anywhere in the food and drinks industry, either for a new building or to refurbish an existing area, then contact NCC for project specific advice and to help ensure that you get the right resin floor, installed by the right professional flooring contractor, which is designed around your requirements, and that will be durable for many years to come and therefore also contribute to your business sustainability with a reduced carbon footprint.

We hope this information relating to resin flooring in the food and drinks industry is of interest and initial assistance on your project. You can call us for additional FREE floor design and installation support at any time during office hours on 01257 266696 Alternatively, email us technical@resinflooringsite.co.uk and we will get back to you just as soon as we can.