When it comes to running a commercial kitchen, there are several regulations around food safety standards that need to be met each day to ensure your kitchen can legally stay open. It’s not just top restaurants that need to comply with these standards – it goes all the way from five-star restaurants through to those producing commercial food at home and the commercial production of packaged food.
The food standards in Australia cover sections including water supply, sewerage and waste disposal, garbage storage, lighting, fittings and fixtures, handwashing, and of course, your walls, ceilings, and flooring.
Under Division 3 of the food standards Australia, floors are required to be designed and constructed in way that is appropriate for the activities conducted in the premises. They must be able to be cleaned effectively and be unable to absorb grease, food particles and water. There must also be no ponding of water, and they must be unable to provide a home for pests. The standards also extend to loading docks, and areas used to wash and clean equipment and utensils, staff bathrooms and personal hygiene areas – essentially any area where there is no public access.
How to Get Your Flooring Right
If you’re opening a new commercial kitchen or looking to give you current one an overhaul, there are a few things you need to consider when it comes to having a food-safe floor, including:
- A surface that is easy to clean, particularly quickly if something is dropped, and doesn’t allow places for insects and grime to build up
- A surface that is able to withstand constant traffic, as well as the use of chemicals, heavy cleaning, impacts, loading and items that may fall including oil spills
- A surface that allows for adequate drainage so that any liquids and contaminants can be quickly disposed of.
What to Consider When Choosing Commercial Kitchen Flooring
There are a few factors you do need to consider when choosing flooring for a commercial kitchen to ensure quick application, and that you meet all food safety standards. These factors include:
- Wall to floor coving so that bacteria cannot grow in the joint between the wall and floor
- Food grade coating, particularly in areas that come into contact with food – loading docks, cool rooms and the like
- Non-slip finishes to minimise slips and falls
- Falls to drains and waste
- Impact resistant to ensure the flooring isn’t damaged if something heavy is dropped
- Flooring that is chemical resistant, non-corrosive and acid resistant
What Flooring to Choose
While there are a lot of flooring choices out there that would be suitable for a commercial kitchen, the HACCP International certification program makes choosing a flooring surface much easier. Floors under this program have been evaluated for the suitability for use within commercial kitchens.
Epoxy flooring is a great choice for commercial kitchens due to its durability and its ease of cleaning. This flooring can stand up to some pretty tough impacts and traffic, including foot traffic and items being dropped as well as chemical and oil spills. An epoxy floor is also non-slip, helping to prevent those workplace injuries that happen all too easy on non-suitable flooring.
Procedure for Laying Commercial Kitchen Floor
Epoxy Flooring Perth has specialised in epoxy flooring coatings and industrial flooring in Perth for a number of years. Their procedures for laying epoxy flooring in a commercial kitchen ensures that you can be up and running quickly. The general procedure is as follows:
- The floor is first prepped to ensure the product sticks to the floor and doesn’t fail over time
- Screed is done, ensuring falls to the drains and levelling of the floors. Depending on the flooring you already have, and whether there are falls in the floor, you may not require this step
- Floor coving is done by hand to ensure a smooth transition from wall to floor
- Sealing is done before installing the floor coving
- A food safe, and hygiene epoxy or resin floor is installed
When you need a food safe, and non-slip flooring for your commercial floor, epoxy flooring is one of the most well-known and installed options to ensure long-lasting use and cleanliness of your commercial kitchen.