Food and beverage hygiene coating check up

Food and beverage Hygiene Coating contributes to food safety

The food and beverage industry is one of the most regulated sectors in Canada. It must obey strict quality, safety and sanitary regulations for employees, processes, and environments. Food and beverage hygiene coating is especially designed for applications where hygiene is of key importance; they keep surfaces free from bacteria, preventing contamination and contributing to food safety. The general requirements for hygiene coating in places where food is prepared, processed or treated include:

  • Prevents contamination during and between tasks
  • Easy to clean and chemical resistant allowing for disinfection
  • Minimises airborne contamination and prevents fungi and mould growth
  • Easy to maintain and durable; hard, impervious, and non-absorbent

Look for these 3 things in a Hygiene coating

A hygiene coating must be seamless, easy to clean and resistant to aggressive cleaning chemicals. When you are looking for a hygienic paint, you will want it to be antibacterial or antimicrobial, and to conform to food safety regulations. When choosing a hygienic paint, check for:

  1. HACCP certification to make sure requirements are met
  2. Antimicrobial additives such as silver to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth
  3. Whether they conform with the relevant standards

In areas where the surfaces must remain hygienic at all times, such as kitchens and food factories, silver ion-containing coatings are nearly a must. Even these bactericidal coatings require frequent cleaning to maintain a hygienic environment.

HACCP coating for the highest hygiene

The most important of the three factors is the correct certification. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a globally recognised benchmark for food safety, its main purpose being minimising foodborne illnesses by providing an advisory framework for facility construction and design. In Canada the national food safety authorities rely on HACCP guidelines in developing regulations for businesses to meet the national food safety standards.

An HACCP coating is therefore certified to meet both the British and European standards. Additionally, goods produced in facilities with HACCP certification are more easily exported than those without, especially to other HACCP-recognising countries like the United States.

5 scenarios – suitable hygienic floor coatings per scenario

In Canada hygiene coating for floors is a requirement due to the fact that a hygienic environment cannot be achieved unless also the floor contributes to preventing bacterial growth and spread.  The right type of hygienic floor paint is dependent on what is expected from the floor coating. Therefore, we have drawn up several scenarios where you may need hygienic floor coating, to help you identify the most suitable hygienic coating for your project.

1. Hygiene must be maintained in a heavy duty area

Suitable coatings: epoxy resin coatings

restaurant with hygiene coating for floor

Hygiene coating is recommended also for restaurant floors yet an HACCP coating is not required.

In heavy duty food processing plants such as dairy production plants, slaughterhouses and distilleries, the floor must be absolutely resistant to abrasion by vehicular and foot traffic as well as heavy mechanical loads. In those cases the best option is a hygienic epoxy floor coating.

2. A decorative finish is required for a light or mid-duty area

Suitable coatings: Polyurethane coatings

When you require a decorative finish your best choice is a polyurethane floor paint, available in a wide range of colours. As well as having an attractive finish, it is flexible underfoot and pleasant to walk on – perfect for foot traffic or restaurant flooring, for example.

3. Hygiene coating must be applied but food is present during the application

Suitable coatings: 100% solids epoxy or polyurethane, waterborne flooring systems

Sometimes a hygienic floor paint is urgently needed, and the presence of foodstuffs during application cannot be avoided. Then you must look for hygienic floor coatings which have a minimum VOC (volatile organic compound) content, such as a 100% solids coating. These coatings can also be applied as thick layers, reducing the need for extra coats. The application of these coatings may take longer than applying alternatives. Another option is a water based floor paint which is faster to apply than 100% solids yet it may not be as durable.

4. Fast return to service is required

Suitable coatings: MMA (methyl methacrylate) coatings, polyurea floor coatings

A food processing plant cannot always accommodate long shutdowns for coating procedures. To avoid lengthy downtime, you need a coating that is fast to apply and cure. In such a case, you should look for either MMA coatings or polyurea, for which the curing time is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. These coatings are suitable for medium traffic areas and are easy to clean (and keep clean).

5. The concrete floor is damaged but requires a hygienic paint with minimum effort

Suitable coatings: self smoothing flooring systems

You are opening a new business but the floor is in a very bad condition, or your floor requires a new layer of hygienic coating but the current layer is damaged. To minimise downtime and avoid high surface preparation costs, you should look for a self smoothing system; it is easy to apply and it fills in  gaps and cracks requiring less preparation work.

Hygienic wall coatings to complement the hygienic environment

Not only must the floor be appropriately coated, but walls are also required to meet hygiene standards. A hygiene coating for walls can achieve this so long as it meets the following requirements:  it must be impervious and non-absorbent, and undamaged by aggressive cleaning chemicals. The coating must also be non-toxic, especially as it may come into contact with skin.

There are three types of resin coatings that, when they contain the appropriate antimicrobial additives, can be applied as hygienic wall coatings:

  • Polyurethane: As on the floor, so on the walls. This type of hygiene coating is decorative, easy to clean, and able to resist chemicals and medium abrasion.
  • Epoxy: This the most durable of the hygienic wall coatings. It is extremely chemical resistant and endures abrasion; you can even use a pressure washer to clean it.
  • Acrylic: These hygienic wall coatings are easy and fast to apply, yet they may not provide the best abrasion and chemical resistance. This means that they should be used on areas that have a lower risk for contamination. A nano coating provides easier to clean surfaces, but decreased abrasion resistance.

Find a specialist to provide Hygiene Coating in Canada

In most cases the application of hygiene coating should be left to a professional, certified contractor. Not only may the application be complex, but the surface also needs to meet standards; only a certified contractor can provide you with the appropriate documentation proving the coatings’ contribution to overall hygiene. To make your search a little easier we have compiled a list of Canadian hygienic paint specialists. In case you require more information about Canadian contractors, or wish to find HACCP coatings for F&B sector, do not hesitate to contact us. We at Coating.ca are here to help!


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