Apply hygiene coatings to meet the F&B industry requirements
The food and beverage (F&B) industry is one of the most regulated businesses in Singapore. 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 and mould, 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
As legislation on hygiene is becoming stricter and stricter in Singapore, the uses of hygiene coatings are many; however, this article focuses on those of use for the food and beverage industry. Here you will find the different options for hygiene coating for floors and walls, as well as learning more about HACCP Singapore checklist and compliant products.
Hygienic wall coatings against bacteria and mould
Walls of food processing facilities are required to meet hygiene standards. A hygiene coating for walls can achieve this as long as it meets the following requirements: it must be impervious and non-absorbent, and resistant to aggressive cleaning chemicals. The coating must also be non-toxic, especially as it may come into contact with skin or food.
There are three types of resin coatings that, when they contain the appropriate antimicrobial additives, can be applied as hygienic wall coatings:
- 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 is 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.
- Acrylic: 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 reinforced: A nano coating provides easier to clean surfaces, but decreased abrasion resistance. these coatings can be applied on any substrate and they repel oil, water and dirt.
Hygiene coating for floors to ensure clean environment
In Singapore 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; wall coatings make sure bacteria does not survive on vertical surfaces, floor coatings take care of the horizontal ones.
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.
5 scenarios to help you identify the best hygienic floor coating
- 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.
Suitable 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).
Suitable 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.
Suitable 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.
Suitable 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.
Suitable coatings: Polyurethane coatings
Note that a hygienic floor can be made more decorative by applying an epoxy flake coating; the flakes in a coating also provide a rougher surface contributing to slip resistance. Not only can decorative flakes be added into epoxy coatings, but also in other resinous solutions; however, epoxy flake coating is the most common in Singapore.
The 3 things that define good quality Hygiene Coatings
A hygiene coating 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
- 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 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. The Singaporean food safety authorities also recognise and rely on the HACCP certification. The HACCP affects also coatings which may receive a HACCP certificate. When you want to be absolutely sure that your coating meets the standards, go fo HACCP coatings like the ones from Libert Paints; tested and approved by several authorities and standardisation agencies.
An HACCP coating is therefore certified to meet both national and international. 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.
Find food & beverage hygiene coatings specialists in Singapore
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 Singapore hygienic paint 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.com.sg are happy to help!
Not only HACCP Coating – Get your business an HACCP certification
It is possible to enhance your food safety management and product quality with an HACCP certification. For instance from SGS. HACCP certification instantly demonstrates to customers your commitment to producing or trading in safe food.
HACCP certification Singapore is built around the following 7 principles:
- Conduct Hazard Analysis of biological, chemical or physical food hazards
- Determine critical control points
- Establish critical control limits, for example, minimum cooking temperature and time
- Provide a system to monitor control of Critical Control Points
- Establish corrective actions
- Establish procedure for verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively
- Provide documentation and record keeping