Hygiene coatings approved for the food & beverage industry
The food and beverage industry is one of the most regulated businesses in the UK. 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:
- Prevents contamination during and between tasks
- Easy to clean and chemical resistant allowing for disinfection
- Minimises airborne contamination and prevents fungi and mould growth
- Hard, impervious, and non-absorbent – easily maintained and durable
3 things to look for in hygiene coatings
Whether you are looking to apply hygienic floor paint or wall coatings, hygiene coatings 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:
- HACCP certification to make sure requirements are met
- Antimicrobial additives such as silver to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth
- Whether they conform with the relevant Standards and meet the HSE requirements
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 coatings for strict hygiene containment areas
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 the UK the national FSA (Food Standards Agency) relies on HACCP guidelines in developing regulations for businesses to meet the national and European food safety standards. Hygiene coatings can also be given an HACCP certificate.
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.
Identify the most suitable hygienic floor paint by scenario
In the UK 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 hygiene coating for your project.
1. Hygiene coatings 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.
2. Downtime must be avoided and minimised when applying hygienic floor paint
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 to look for hygiene coatings that are fast to apply and cure. In such a case, you should opt 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).
3. The concrete floor is damaged but requires a hygienic floor 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 coatings 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 fills gaps and cracks; thus requires less preparation work.
4. Hygiene must be maintained in a heavy duty area
Suitable coatings: epoxy resin floor coatings
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, the king of hygiene coatings for floors.
5. 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 hygienic 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.
Support sanitation with hygienic wall coatings
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:
- Acrylic: These hygiene 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.
- 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.
- Epoxy: This the most durable of the hygienic wall paint types. It is extremely chemical resistant and endures abrasion; you can even use a pressure washer to clean it.
Find food & beverage hygiene coatings specialists in the UK
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. To make your search a little easier we have compiled a list of UK-based hygienic paint specialists. In case you require more information about the UK contractors, or wish to find HACCP coatings for F&B sector, do not hesitate to contact us. We at Coating.co.uk are happy to help!
|Hygienic paint specialist||Address||Specialisation|
|Flowcrete UK (Manufacturer & Distributor)||The Flooring Technology Centre, Booth Lane, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3QF||ISO 22196 and HACCP certified hygiene coatings: epoxy, MMA and polyurethane hygienic floor paint products|
|Arcon (Distributor)||19 – 20 Prestwood, Court, Leacroft Road, Risley, Warrington, WA3 6SB||Hygienic epoxy coatings with non slip function for floors|
|LS Finishes (Manufacturer & Applicator)||47 Uddens Trading Estate, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 7NL||100% solids and water based floor coatings|
|RSL (Manufacturer & Distributor)||Tower Works, Kestor Street, Bolton, BL2 2AL||Hygienic wall paint and floor coatings: self levelling, epoxy, polyurethane and acrylic|