I recently started at a bakery that is opening a new facility. It is an old Wal-mart that we are gutting and remodeling.
Prior to my starting, the decision was made to pull out the drop ceilings to reduce the risk of pest harborage. The ceiling beams are exposed but have been sealed with a white epoxy coating. We have this on our master sanitation schedule to be cleaned by utilizing a scissor lift and vacuum.
The State health department inspector told us that we are required to install a drop ceiling over the areas where we have exposed products.
The regulation reads:
WALLS AND CEILINGS (257-11-3,4,5,8,9,10)
- Must be light colored, smooth, durable, non-absorbent, sealed and easily cleanable. This requirement also applies to restroom stall partitions.
- Exposed studs, joists and rafters are prohibited in food preparation and dishwashing areas.
Our ceiling is now sealed, epoxy coated and cleanable. However, you can see the joist beams.
This is new for me (my background is USDA inspected meat facilities where everything is washdown).
Will we be required to install a drop ceiling? My concern is that with the location of rooms within the plant a drop ceiling will be very difficult to monitor and clean above.
Does anyone have a similar experience? How did you address?