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The FCSI Consultant’s view...

FCSI Consultant Duncan Hepburn explains why drainage and flooring have a crucial role to play when it comes to optimising hygiene in a commercial kitchen environment.

Slips Trips and Falls are the common bywords associated with issues in the commercial kitchen connected with floors and safety, however the association between floors in kitchens, drainage, and safety starts well before this. Part of the pre requisite planning for HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) an EU regulation EC No 852, is that there should be adequate drainage and sanitation in place in the catering environment, so that the processes and procedures of HACCP can be followed.

The ability to wash and clean, food products, the catering facility and the kitchen staff, are all paramount to the hygiene process of any catering operation and it must all be carried out without any cross contamination, or upset to the operational flow of the catering facility. Drainage planning is therefore paramount and without it the kitchen will struggle to operate efficiently. The types of drains, drain locations and connections all warrant planning and thought to ensure that the hygiene needs of the commercial kitchen operator can be met.

Interfaces between these drain points, the surrounding floor finish and the substructure must be sound and be able to withstand the hot, cold, wet, greasy and dirty rigors of the associated kitchen operation. Should these potential weak points break down then they provide an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria. Do not be fooled into thinking that these bacteria stay on the ground! The process of mopping, scrubbing or high pressure cleaning can turn these bacteria into air borne menaces, travelling over 5 meters from their original location.

In summary, good drains, good floors, good planning and good maintenance all add up to helping keep our commercial kitchens a hygienic place in which to prepare the gastronomic delights that we all enjoy eating.