Food and beverage processing plants present a unique set of challenges when it comes to facility flooring.
With temperature extremes, frequent high-pressure hosing, and a constant barrage of heavy equipment, the flooring has to withstand harsh conditions. Then there are the ingredients — oils, acids, and chemicals — that are commonly handled or spilled on facility floors.
Painting contractors know that the food processing industry has some of the most difficult requirements when it comes to food safe floor coatings applications. Coatings must ensure a hygienic surface and be durable enough to create a protective barrier that prevents contaminants from permeating the concrete substrate.
FDA Flooring Systems Regulations for Food Processing Plants
Food processing plants are required to maintain clean areas at all times. This includes floorings that should be easy to clean and sanitize.
The FDA has safety and hygiene regulations that require strict compliance from the food processing industry. Food processors will not be able to operate without certification from the FDA. Even existing plants are still in danger of being fined or shut down if the FDA finds evidence of non-compliance. There is also the possibility of forcible product recalls, urged by the FDA, should a quality inspection reveal violations of the standards. Any of these situations could cost the plant significant business losses.
The FDA has stringent quality guidelines for food processing facilities because it is protecting the populace against health-threatening pathogens such as e. coli, listeria or salmonella. These pathogens thrive in poorly processed food and unsanitary environments and can be transmitted to the food-consuming community.
FDA Food Safe Floor Coatings and Finishes
Quarry or commercial grade vinyl composition tile, as well as seamlessly-poured and sealed concrete are the approved finishes for kitchens, food preparation and storage rooms, and the waste disposal and washing areas in food manufacturing facilities. This is also true for walk-in refrigeration and freezer areas, with the addition of stainless steel and poured synthetic materials. The use of any materials aside from these must be submitted to the FDA for evaluation and approval.
The reason why these finishes are acceptable is that they make for smooth, non-absorbent and easy-to-clean floorings. Additionally, food safe floor coatings of epoxy-, silicone- or polyurethane-based materials are required to maintain flooring integrity and provide long-lasting performance.
FDA regulations do not cover any specific floor coating formulation, per se. The material composition of the coatings is what is considered in determining food safe floor coatings. Non-toxic materials are preferred, as well as materials that would not provide an environment for harmful pathogens or food contaminants to proliferate.
Commercial Painting California
Make sure your facility flooring is food-safe with the help of the expert team of experienced painting contractors at Raider Painting.
Section III of the Food Establishment Plan Review Guide covers the FDA’s design, installation and construction recommendations for food facilities. Part 10 of this section covers specific guidelines on floor finishes.