It’s a common question: what exactly is food-grade flooring? How do you comply, and is there anything else you should watch for to make sure your floor will pass an audit?
Food Standards Australia puts it this way:
(1) Floors must be designed and constructed in a way that is appropriate for the activities conducted on the food premises.
(2) Subject to subclause (3), floors must:
(a) be able to be effectively cleaned;
(b) be unable to absorb grease, food particles or water;
(c) be laid so there is no ponding of water; and
(d) to the extent that is practicable, be unable to provide harbourage for pests.
Flooring also needs to be safe.
Breaking this down:
Be able to be effectively cleaned. Heavy non-slip media in a floor can damage cleaning equipment and trap food particles, but it is important that the slip resistance be enough to prevent falls in the factory. The correct level is dependent on the factory’s use (as per point (1)).
Be unable to absorb grease, food particles or water; Most resin coatings are impervious to these things, but it is important to make sure that, when the floor is laid, your concrete is dry and clean – resin flooring laid over very wet or greasy concrete will not stay there for long!
Be laid so there is no ponding of water – this is our job. Falls to any drainage need measuring so they are consistent and ensure that water flows to the drain, rather than staying on the floor and causing a slip hazard.
To the extent that is practicable, be unable to provide harbourage for pests.
Some things to consider:
– Joint sealing
– Sealing around drains – very important, as incorrect sealing can trap water and, therefore, bacteria.
Floor issues are a headache, but understanding compliance standards can aid you in understanding the issues.
Allied Finishes is a flooring & drainage company specialising in the food industry.