In the food manufacturing and processing industry, there are certain regulations that must be met in order for the processing plant or factory to be considered safe. Most food manufacturing and processing plants have floors made of concrete, which need to be protected with food safe flooring. Concrete floors in this industry need to be protected from fat, oil, and sugar spills, which can stain concrete and be very sticky. Gary McGaghey
Food industries have to be wary of spills because if left untreated, they can lead to the growth of bacteria and the food can be contaminated. Spills that are not cleaned up right away can also be hazardous in other ways. Workers can slip in the spill and fall, causing workplace injuries. If hot liquids are spilled, people can be burned or objects can catch fire. These, however, are only extreme scenarios. Concrete floors in the food industry must be able to resist damage from spills and corrosive cleaning agents that are used in the food industry. They can be protected from these spills by having an FDA or NSF approved coating.
Sugar is especially damaging to concrete floors. Sugar is used in many food processing plants in a solid or liquid structure. Hot liquid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or caramelized sugar can corrode concrete floors. When not cleaned up right away or properly, bacteria can grow in the corroding concrete. Rodents, ants, and flies are also attracted to sugar in all forms, so an untreated spill can lead to a pest infestation. The food produced in these facilities can be contaminated and would have to be reproduced. The FDA is especially critical of facilities that leave spills untreated.
While there are many benefits to having concrete floors in the food industry, corrosion is not one of these. However, concrete in these industries can be protected with the proper floor coating. An example of such a coating is urethane cement. Urethane cement is an FDA and OSHA approved floor resurfacer that is easy to clean, does not require a primer beforehand, does not have a strong odor, and can contract and expand with temperature extremes. Urethane cements are especially approved for the sugar processing industries. Another example of a quality coating is an epoxy floor coating. Epoxy solutions can withstand acids, harsh cleaning agents, and temperature extremes. Polyureas are another good choice because of their extreme temperature resistance, and lack of odor. Polyurea based substances are great for concrete in this industry because they protect against cracks and corrosion.
It is important for people involved in the food industries to know how to protect concrete floors from sugar exposure in food manufacturing facilities with food safe floor coatings. The floor coating should not have a strong odor, as the odor can combine with the food. It should also protect against extreme temperatures, harsh cleaning materials, and foods high in acid and sugar content. The coating should also meet the FDA standards. Choosing the right floor coating for food manufacturing industries is important for many reasons, as these industries do not want to sacrifice the quality or safety of their food.