Hygienic floor and wall systems
For the food and drink industry
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New floor for dairy

David Priest talks about the key things to consider when installing a long-term flooring solution in a dairy environment.

You need to choose an experienced contractor who knows what sort of flooring suits the particular needs of the dairy industry.

For example, a flooring solution that deals with issues of concrete protection.

Lactic acid will destroy concrete floors unless it is adequately protected - it can literally eat it away, so look for specialist solutions which deal with that.

You also need to be aware that caustic materials used for general cleaning and CIP can also erode the concrete, so any flooring solution recommendation has to be chemical resistant.

Someone considering a new floor will have to make sure that it complies with all necessary health & safety legislation, mainly around slip-resistance. Fats in process spillage increase the risk of slips, so any floor needs to have a slip-resistant surface that meets the requirements and recommendations of the HSE.

It’s good to be aware of various types of flooring available which meet this criteria. Hygienic high performance ceramic floor tiles and polyurethane resin finishes from good quality manufacturers tend to be the most popular, depending on the situation, environment and need.

Generally speaking, resin is used for functional benefits, such as providing excellent hygienic and chemical protection in heavy duty manufacturing areas. Fully vitrified ceramic tiles also provide all of the above, but are more aesthetically pleasing, especially where visual impact in certain areas is important.

It’s worth knowing that there is an EEC directive that makes it mandatory for floors to be impervious and easy to clean where foodstuffs are processed and produced.

If you have problems with standing water on floors then it is worth knowing suppliers who can also provide drainage solutions as well - stainless steel, fully welded surface channels and gullies work well in the dairy industry.

Stainless steel kerbs also provide an ideal solution to protect hygienic walling and elevate it off the ground so the internal material doesn't become contaminated and start to smell.

Where there are normal rendered or block walls a hygienic, pressure washable, fibreglass reinforced walling system can work well instead of hygienic panels.

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