Hygiene coatings approved for the food & beverage industry
The food and beverage industry is one of the most regulated businesses in the US. It must obey strict quality, safety and sanitary regulations for employees, processes, and environments. Food & beverage hygiene coatings are 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 coatings in places where food is prepared, processed or treated (excluding dining rooms) include:
- Hard, impervious, and non-absorbent – easily maintained and durable
- Prevents contamination during and between tasks
- Easy to clean and chemical resistant allowing for disinfection
- Minimizes airborne contamination and prevents fungi and mold growth
3 things that make high quality hygiene coatings
A hygiene coating must be seamless, easy to clean and resistant to aggressive cleaning chemicals. When you are looking for a hygiene coatings, you will want it to be antibacterial or antimicrobial, and to conform to food safety regulations. When choosing hygienic coatings, check for:
- HACCP certification to make sure requirements are met
- Whether they conform with the relevant Standards
- Antimicrobial additives such as silver to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth
In areas where the surfaces must remain hygienic at all times, such as kitchens and food factories, silver ion-containing hygienic coatings are nearly a must. Even these bactericidal coatings require frequent cleaning to maintain a hygiene environment.
HACCP coating for the strictest hygiene containment areas
The most important of the three factors is the correct certification. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a globally recognized benchmark for food safety, its main purpose being minimizing foodborne illnesses by providing an advisory framework for facility construction and design.
An HACCP coating is therefore certified to meet the national and international standards. Additionally, goods produced in facilities with HACCP certification are more easily exported than those without, especially to other HACCP-recognizing countries.
The types of hygienic floor coatings and suitability per scenario
In the US HACCP hygienic 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 coating is dependent on what is expected from the floor coating. Therefore, we have drawn up several scenarios where you may need hygienic floor coatings, to help you identify the most suitable hygienic paint for floors in your project.
Scenario 1 – Food is present during hygienic floor paint application
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 hygienic floor coating which is faster to apply than 100% solids yet it may not be as durable.
Suitable coatings: 100% solids epoxy or polyurethane, waterborne flooring systems
Scenario 2 – Allowance for downtime is minimum
A food processing plant cannot always accommodate long shutdowns for coating procedures. To avoid lengthy downtime, you need a hygiene floor paint that is fast to apply and cure. In such a case, you should look for either MMA coatings or polyurea hygienic coating for floors, 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).
Suitable coatings: MMA (methyl methacrylate) coatings, polyurea hygienic floor coatings
Scenario 3 – HACCP hygienic floor coatings on damaged floor with little effort
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 minimize downtime and avoid high surface preparation costs, you should look for a self smoothing hygienic coating for floors; it is easy to apply and fills gaps and cracks; thus requires less preparation work.
Suitable coatings: self smoothing flooring systems
Scenario 4 – HACCP coating for floors in heavy duty area
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.
Suitable coatings: epoxy resin floor coatings
Scenario 5 – The finish must be decorative and hygienic
When you require a decorative finish your best choice is a polyurethane hygiene floor paint, available in a wide range of colors. 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.
Suitable coatings: Polyurethane coatings
Maintain high hygiene with certified hygienic coatings for walls
Not only must the floor be appropriately coated, but walls are also required to meet hygiene standards. Hygienic coatings for walls can achieve this so long as they meet the following requirements: they must be impervious and non-absorbent, and undamaged by aggressive cleaning chemicals. The hygienic coatings must also be non-toxic, especially as they 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:
- Epoxy: This the most durable of the hygienic coatings for walls. It is extremely chemical resistant and endures abrasion; you can even use a pressure washer to clean it.
- Acrylic: These hygiene coatings for walls 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.
- Polyurethane: As on the floor, so on the walls. These hygiene coatings are decorative, easy to clean, and able to resist chemicals and medium abrasion.
HACCP certified hygiene coatings products and contractors in the US
In most cases the application of hygiene coatings 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. In case you require more information about the US contractors, or wish to find HACCP coating for F&B sector (hygienic coatings for floors and walls), do not hesitate to contact us. We at CoatingPaint.com are happy to help!