This Article is About
food poisoning
hygiene practices
stomach upsets
poor hygiene
stain resistance
ceramic tiles
Minimising The Risk Of Food Poisoning In Restaurants
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According to the Food Standards Agency nearly 17 million people suffer from stomach upsets in the UK every year resulting from poor hygiene practices. This in turn leads to about 11 million lost working days and costs the country over a billion pounds per year. The cost in fines to a business found guilty of causing food poisoning can be in the tens of thousands and even lead to prison sentences. But even minor incidences of food poisoning can destroy the hard built reputation of a business and lead to closure. So what can be done to minimise the risk in kitchens?

There are several options for walls within hygiene critical areas, each have benefits as well as drawbacks. A conventional paint system remains popular for several reasons.

- It’s seamless

- It’s a conventional specification

- It’s easy to apply

- Formulations can be scrubbed

- There’s a wide colour choice

- There are water based options

- It’s low odour

- And it’s quick drying

However, conventional paint systems have:

- Limited resistance to severe strains of bacteria

- They can require reapplication over time

- There’s potential flaking

- And there’s loss of protection on scratching

Ceramic tiles have benefits as well as drawbacks, when used in hygiene critical areas:

- There’s considerable choice

- They can give an aesthetic that is difficult to replicate

- They’re easily sourced

- It’s a low cost options

- They’re water tight

- They wipe clean

However, there’s:

- More joints

- Lower impact & stain resistance

- Higher water vapour transmission

- Poorer appearance retention

- Low flexibility to match substrate movement

- Expansion joints required

- A very slow installation time requiring return visit

- And it’s a wet, dusty and dirty installation process

Compare this to antimicrobial hygienic wall cladding

- Hygienic cladding is usually cheaper than ceramic tile systems. As well as the manufacturing cost, the installation cost are much cheaper.

- There’s far fewer joints so less jointing area and no water or other penetration that can cause failure in tiles

- Hygienic cladding is shown to be better impact & stain resistance

- There’s low water vapour transmission so no penetration of damaged surfaces or grout

- There’s the flexibility to match substrate movement with no expansion joints required

- A rapid installation process capable of covering up to 250 meters per day

- Hygienic cladding has better appearance retention. No staining, no grout, no replacement of damaged tiles

- Finally, it’s a clean, one visit installation

Standard hygienic wall cladding has many benefits being:

- Durable

- Easy to clean

- Aesthetically Pleasing

-Quick to install

However, there’s:

• Unproven antibacterial protection

Unlike antimicrobial cladding such as BioClad, standard hygienic wall cladding is not independently laboratory tested for its antibacterial protection.

BioClad is volatile organic compound, or V.O.C, free. Standard hygienic wall cladding has detectable V.O.C’s for up to a year after installation. The VOC’s temporarily provide an antibacterial affect to standard hygienic cladding but this is short lived.

• Non antimicrobial

Microbes and fungi are able to grow on traditional hygienic wall cladding

The antimicrobial element is impregnated into the panels at the time of manufacture and therefor does not leach. This stops growth of bacteria and mould by up to 99.99% and this works continuously for the lifetime of panels. This is ideal for use in hygiene sensitive areas due to excellent chemical resistance.

BioClad antimicrobial hygienic cladding has been tested to ISO standards and showed a reduction in overall bacterial load of over 99%. Such testing methods are independent and internationally recognised.

So we can see that after 15 minutes, bacteria is reduced by 50% and after two hours, over 99%

These environmental trials show additives being as effective in real life, as they are in the laboratory. Results from last test are as follows:

Here we can see a comparative test, with traditional PVC wall cladding and antimicrobial cladding and BioClad. Bacteria are greatly reduced as it comes into contact with antimicrobial protection compared with non-treated surfaces. It is important to stress that not just a reduction is shown, it’s also proven that re-infestation is kept to an absolute minimum with silver ion.

Although a traditional hygienic PVC new sheet will initially show an 80% reduction in active bacteria, this statistic reduces with time. In use, microscopic scratches would appear from cleaning and impact, which would give an ever increasing breeding ground for bacteria – which could be more difficult to clean.

In contrast, treated products maintain their antimicrobial performance, due to the consistency of the additive, throughout the full thickness of the sheet.

Additives are only part of the solution. Hygienic additives are not a substitute for a good cleaning regime. It is still essential that we wash our hands as these are the prime vehicle for transferring bacteria. Failure to wash your hands can lead to cross contamination and lead to infections such as MRSA. Hygienic additives are a powerful and unique partner to regular cleaning procedures.

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