Food safety begins from the moment of production to when the final product arrives with the consumer. Therefore, minimising the risk of contamination in food and beverage production facilities is imperative. This takes a combination of the correct procedures, technologies and priorities to maintain high levels of hygiene.
One way of reducing the likelihood of harmful contaminants building up in an area is to install flooring with bacterial killing properties that works well alongside a regular and thorough cleaning regime.
The Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013 set out the base level of floor cleanliness in English food and beverage production areas, outlining that the floor should be “made from materials that are impervious (i.e. do not allow fluid to pass through) and non absorbent”. This is achieved with traditional flooring materials such as terrazzo and epoxy resins thanks to their seamless and non-absorbent nature.
Food that falls from the production line to the floor can lead to unwanted bacterial growth, and this is where antibacterial agents within the flooring materials can be extremely useful. Utilising flooring materials with antibacterial properties is not a replacement for an effective cleaning regime, but in addition to this as a complementary asset that facilitates a clean environment.
Flowcrete UK has designed the Flowfresh polyurethane screed through an exclusive global partnership with Polygiene® to deliver an advanced surface protection that can help to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria. This proficiency meets both the ISO 22196 and JIS 222801 standards for measuring a surface’s antibacterial effectiveness.
Flowfresh provides an antibacterial option that combines a robust and highly effective flooring material with a world leading biocide to enhance the hygienic credentials of a building and to help ensure that dangerous pathogens and contaminants are not passed to consumers.
Polygiene® is an all-natural solution containing silver ions that uses a thermosetting amino compound, rather than harsh chemicals to kill bacteria. No other flooring solution utilises the natural germ killing properties of silver in this way. Locked into the resin matrix of the flooring material, the additive emits powerful silver ions that penetrate the cell membrane of bacteria, causing irreparable damage to the pathogen. The rate at which the silver ions are released is an important aspect of the effectiveness of silver in such an application.
Silver is a broad-spectrum agent and bactericidal to a large number of aerobes, anaerobes, gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms, and several antibiotic restraint strains. Common bacterium that have no defence to Polygiene® include E-coli, Salmonella typhi, MRSA, Listeria welshimeri and Staphylococcus aureus. It also helps to inhibit the growth of yeast and mould on the surface of the floor, regardless of damage that can occur to the floor surface.
With the daily impact from heavy machinery, any damage to the flooring in the food and beverage industry can provide microorganisms with the opportunity to colonise. Should a Flowfresh floor’s surface become damaged however, any germs that collect in cracks will be exposed to an active antibacterial agent. Unlike synthetic antibacterial additives or surface treatments, the Polygiene® additive, homogenously distributed throughout the Flowfresh system, remains active for the lifetime of the floor, even with such wear and damage. Food and beverage manufacturers who use this system will also benefit from anti-fungal protection between cleaning cycles, offering clients much longer-term hygiene performance than coatings that wear away after frequent washes.
To find out more about antibacterial flooring solutions that optimise a specific facility’s hygienic working practises, please comment below and an expert will be in touch.