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Sanitary Design Ideas - Permanent Guides on a Plastic Table

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:30 PM

This is a little "out there" - so just looking for ideas. 


We do a lot of manual dough benchwork on a very large plastic-top table.  (Ballpark 15' x 6')  We hand-make the same size dough 'squares' to then laminate butter into.  What I'd like to do is get a visual guide for the size of the dough squares 'built' into the table somehow.   


I'd considered something like - a very deep etch outline into the plastic tabletop to the size of the square we want, fill the bottom of the etch with a color, then fill in the top with a food-safe pourable plastic resin that bonds to the plastic of the table so the final finish is flush with the table surface.  (i.e. no catch points for dough, totally cleanable, etc.) 


I'd proposed just making a separate metal guide or plastic, but that would slip and slide around the tabletop.  


Anyone have any other ideas on how to accomplish a permanent, built-in guide?  Anyone know of pourable, food-safe plastic resin?  (I'd add it to our daily inspections to make certain it's not pulling away, chipping, etc.)   Sometimes easy/obvious solutions have been missed until I've asked others outside of the process, so that's why I figured I would toss it out there.  


Thanks in advance!  






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Posted 01 June 2020 - 10:42 PM

Those sound like good solutions. If you were wanted to be less permanent, you could also put a piece of clear polycarbonate on top of the table, and put your laminated "sizing guide" underneath it sandwiched between the polycarb and the surface of the table. People sometimes do that on desks with family pictures or helpful documents like this. Bonus, allows your employees to put the "guide" wherever it is most convenient for their workspace, and if you ever need new or different ones, just laminate a new page.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.



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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:35 PM

We use a Crofton bakers guide silicone mat that is pre-printed with diagrams for laying out dough for making pastries, crusts, etc.


Crofton is apparently a house brand for Aldi and thus does not make them on the open market.


However, if you can get silicone mats (easily cleaned and stay in place on stainless steel (almost like peel and stick, but can be removed for cleaning) you could then have a graphic design person work with a large format printing machine (such as those made by Canon that we almost bought) and you would have what you need.


You night also want to check in with American Baking Institute to see if they can source this for you or a bakery supply house.

Kind regards,
Glenn Oster

Goodstart Coastal Enterprises | SQF Consultants | Lighthouse Health & Wellness, PMA

508-687-2224 // gcemvi@proton.me



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Posted 02 June 2020 - 08:33 PM

The only baking experience I have was watching my mother back in the day. But could you not fabricate 'cookie cutters'? That way you can use your table for other projects without confusing people with unnecessary lines.

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