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Processing Room Floors - SQF Ed. 8

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 02:31 PM

Hello, all.


We are in the process of starting new construction on a new building. I have a questions regarding the material required for the flooring according to the SQF code. In the building we are currently in, the floor has an epoxy coating and we have never had an issue with any auditors. In the new building, do we HAVE to have an epoxy coating?


11.2.2 Floors, Drains and Waste Traps
  • Floors shall be constructed of smooth, dense impact resistant material that can be effectively graded, drained, impervious to liquid and easily cleaned.
  • Floors shall be sloped to floor drains at gradients suitable to allow the effective removal of all overflow or waste water under normal working conditions.
  • Drains shall be constructed and located so they can be easily cleaned and not present a hazard.
  • Waste trap system shall be located away from any food handling area or entrance to the premises.


Is concrete considered an "impact resistant material"? Upper management is asking if we can have plain concrete floors (obviously they will be sloped towards the drains as required). Will we have an issue with SQF certification if we do not use some sort of epoxy? Any advice from any SQF auditors or people that have plain concrete floors?







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Posted 06 June 2019 - 03:54 PM

No, you don't have to have an epoxy coating.


Yes, you can have standard concrete flooring.


Ensure that your wall/floor junctions are proper.

All the Best,


All Rights Reserved,

Without Prejudice,

Glenn Oster.







Ryan M.

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 11:55 PM

With concrete be careful with your cleaning chemicals, many of them will eat up concrete.  Also, get a good joint / crack sealant as you will inevitably develop cracks over time which create niches.  I've had success with PC Concrete Epoxy for cracks and gaps.


If you have strong cleaning chemicals, caustics and acids, you'll inevitably need to epoxy the floor where the chemicals are used.


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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:39 AM

With concrete be careful with your cleaning chemicals, many of them will eat up concrete. 


Very good point, and also worth considering in terms of raw materials / finished products.
I still vividly remember being called to a third party warehouse where a whole batch of concentrated lime juice had fermented, burst its packaging, leaked all over the racking and then set about quite rapidly eating the uncoated concrete floor...


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Posted 11 June 2019 - 03:23 PM

In reality, there is a significant amount of research on the topic. Remember that concrete is porous. How porous depends on the air injection, mixing and application used to strengthen it during production. Talk to a well versed concrete supplier to really understand from the experts perspective.


There is some science that shows some bacteria (B. Subtilus is one) actually add to strength, and over time remove porosity by leaving behind some crystal compounds. As noted above though, if any environmental bacteria produce an acidic environment, it will erode the floor. Ingredients and cleaners (specifically anything acidic) will damage the floor quickly.


The other consideration, for a wet environment, would be pathogens using the porosity to enter deep enough in the the matrix (along with the obvious food and water needed to grow), and creating a pathogenic sump that you will never be able to correct. In something like a dry goods warehouse, not an issue in most cases.


The recommendation is to assess the expected environment the floor will be exposed to, and understand if it will have an impact or not. No question that floor coatings of any type are a maintenance issue, and can be costly. Do your research though.


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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:47 PM

I agree in the long run the epoxy floor will hold up much better then a plain concrete floor. Cleaning chemicals, products, and traffic are hard on the floor and can end up costing you more in the long run with repairs, environmental problems, and hazards.

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