Protecting Wet Processing Areas in Food Processing Plants
In food processing plants, the frequent wash downs required to adhere to the strict USDA & FDA guidelines can lead to many problems that can contribute to a failed audit or inspection. And who can afford a failed audit or inspection? Besides hefty fines, your plant can actually be shut down until your maintnenace problemsa are solved. Being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to painting & flooring in your facility really does save you money in the long run.
Wet processing areas are some of the most common areas that contribute to failed inspections. The steam, standing water, and frequent wash downs can bring concerns like:
- Contamination from peeling paint, falling or flaking rust
- Porous surfaces that can harbor bacteria
- Proper slope to drain & flooring texture (ponding water / slip fall)
- Dairy brick / Quarry tile grouts (popping up / bacteria)
- Contamination from flooring failures
When it comes to your floors, it is important to know drains are the most common areas for Listeria to grow. Increased food safety trends are moving many facilities away from trench drains to box drains. This provides less surface area for bacteria to grow, but may also cause slope to drain concerns and repitching to drain needs.
To help lower the risk for an outbreak, it is important to know that Listeria is a bacterium that can also grow at refrigeration temperatures. This means that if Listeria migrates onto food, it may continue to grow even if the food is held at refrigeration temperatures during shipping, storage, and display, thus increasing the potential for illness.
Wall to floor transitions can also be a potential harborage point for bacteria. Thus making it important to address the potential need for cove base applications in or near food manufacturing / processing areas.
Cove base can provide three main advantages to food and beverage facilities including:
1. Provides a seamless transition from floor to wall greatly reducing the risk of harborage points for bacteria,
2. They help aid in proper water movement to drains during cleaning and wash-downs and reduce the risk of water getting behind the walls.
3. They provide impact resistance from carts and other moving items commonly found in Food and beverage facilities.
Depending on the size of a facility and the size of a Listeria outbreak, a food processing plant could be forced to throw out all of their products that may be contaminated with Listeria. The processor may also have to issue a recall of contaminated or potentially contaminated food. The processing facility to be shut down for hours or days while the facility is cleaned and processing equipment is disassembled as needed and deep cleaned. Plant closings can cost thousands to millions of dollars in lost time, decreased productivity and reputation damage. In addition to those losses there may be fines and litigation costs that can be even larger.
Redimere Surface Solutions knows that the food industry needs special attention, techniques, and coatings to keep a facility functioning safely - not only for the employees who work in food processing plants, but for the many consumers who eat the food you produce.
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