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Ceramic and other glass type material


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#1 DenisB

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:49 PM

We are in the process of having our official SQF2000 level 2 audit - on a preliminary evaluation audit, we were informed that ceramic covering most walls and floors in our processing facility may be subject to be controled under SQF standards - can someone give me their perception or experience on this matter.

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#2 esquef

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:20 PM

No actual experience (yet) but QM5.2 states:

"Floors are made of durable, impact resistant, impervious and non-absorbent, washable and easily cleaned, non-contaminating and non-tainting material"

Is the ceramic grouted tile? Could it be that they beleive that the grout may be difficult to adequately sanitize?

#3 DenisB

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:54 PM

Thanks for your reply, but the actual position of the auditor is regarding the ceramic tiles that must be considered as glass, nothing to do with the grout.

No actual experience (yet) but QM5.2 states:

"Floors are made of durable, impact resistant, impervious and non-absorbent, washable and easily cleaned, non-contaminating and non-tainting material"

Is the ceramic grouted tile? Could it be that they beleive that the grout may be difficult to adequately sanitize?



#4 Foodworker

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:44 PM

I have no direct experience with SQF2000, but there are similar requirements in the BRC.

The risk is from tile fragments becoming foreign body contaminants.

The greater risk, in my opinion, is from glazed ceramic wall tiles. When these break, the fragments are as sharp as glass. The problem is that the wall tiles tend to break too often following impact with pallets, trucks and other equipment. Twenty or so years ago, ceramic tiles were seen as the ultimate in hygienic construction, but now tend not to be used.

Floor tiles are normally more resistant to damage, although they obviously still break, and they are not normally glazed which is where most of the sharpness comes from.

If you have a lot of wall and floor tiles, you basically have 2 options.

The first is to rip them out and replace them with more appropriate materials. This is obviously a course of action that you would not rush into because of the expense and downtime/disruption.

The other option is to compromise and manage the risk. (Document it and call it a risk assessment)

That is - remove what you can, repair existing damage and protect the more vunerable areas with barriers etc.. Aluminium chequer plate is often used. You then need to treat any subsequent breakage as you would a glass breakage. Make sure that the tiles are included in the glass/plastics audits. Include ceramic risks in staff training programmes so that they are more likely to react when they drive a fork lift into a wall.

There are numerous BRC certified food factories with ceramic and other tiles. The BRC Guidelines recognise that they are not going to be be replaced overnight. I am sure that SQF2000 has similar flexibilty, but as I say, I have no direct experience.



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