Hygienic coating helps you meet food safety standards
The food and beverage industry is one of the most regulated businesses in Qatar as well as in many other countries. It must obey strict quality, safety and sanitary regulations for employees, processes, and environments. Food & beverage hygienic coating is especially designed for applications where hygiene is of key importance; they keep surfaces free from bacteria, prevent contamination, and contribute to food safety. The general requirements for hygienic coating in places where food is prepared, processed or treated include:
- Easy to maintain and durable; hard, impervious, and non-absorbent
- Prevents contamination during and between tasks
- Easy to clean and chemical resistant allowing for disinfection
- Minimizes airborne contamination and prevents fungi and mood growth
This article outlines the different types of hygienic coating for floors and wall as well as taking a look at the Qatari and international (HACCP) regulations for food safety regarding facility construction and design.
HACCP Certification and other signs of a quality hygienic paint
A hygiene coating must be seamless, easy to clean and resistant to aggressive chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection. When you are looking for a hygiene coating, 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
If the hygienic paint meets all the aforementioned requirements, you know you are dealing with a coating that certainly helps your facility meet the strict construction and design standards.
HACCP coating – guaranteed for meeting international standards
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. The Qatari food safety authorities also recognise and rely on the HACCP certification.
An HACCP coating is therefore certified to meet both national and international 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. The use of hygiene materials in construction and design make it easier to get a HACCP certification for your facility.
Hygienic floor coating to ensure clean environment
In Qatar 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 the expectation and purpose of the floor itself. 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.
- Hygiene coatings must be applied but food is present during the 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 floor paint which is faster to apply than 100% solids yet it may not be as durable.
Coatings: 100% solids epoxy or polyurethane, waterborne flooring systems
- Downtime must be avoided and minimised at all times
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).
Coatings: MMA (methyl methacrylate) coatings, polyurea floor coatings
- The concrete floor is damaged but requires a hygienic paint with minimum 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 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.
Coatings: self smoothing flooring systems
- Hygiene must be maintained in a 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.
Coatings: epoxy resin floor coatings
- A decorative finish is required for a light or mid-duty area
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.
Coatings: Polyurethane coatings
Support the clean environment with hygienic wall paint
Walls of food processing – and preparing areas are also subject strict regulations; they must be appropriate for the area and protect food from contamination. They must be easy to clean and inhibit pests. Therefore, they are ideal as hygiene paint for kitchens and other industrial food processing areas. There are four types of wall coatings that, when they contain the appropriate antimicrobial additives, can be applied as hygiene wall coatings:
- Epoxy hygiene coatings
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.
- Polyurethane hygienic coatings
These hygiene coatings are decorative, easy to clean, and able to resist chemicals and medium abrasion.
- Acrylic hygienic wall coatings
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.
- Nano hygiene coatings
These coatings are based on nanotechnology which is known for its dirt, oil and water repelling properties. Nano hygiene coatings make surfaces self cleaning yet they may not be as abrasion resistant as other options.
Hygienic coating suppliers and service in Qatar
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 Qatari hygienic coating specialists. In case you require more information about the local contractors, or wish to find HACCP coatings for F&B sector, do not hesitate to contact us. We at Coatings.qa are happy to help!