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Drop ceilings, optimal ceilings for SQF seafood processing


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bradlingus

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:25 AM

Hello,

New to the forum and new to designing seafood processing spaces. Thanks for having me.

Currently planning a tuna loining room in an older JICA building (bomb proof poured in place concrete). It currently has a t-bar drop ceiling with acoustical tiles. They used to use the room for boxing H&G fresh tuna for export. We want to upgrade to SQF for raw, ready-to-eat loins.

If we convert ceiling panels to thick PVC panels that are clipped down to the track and NSF food processing splash zone troffer lights, will that pass SQF? I saw in a previous post that Scampi said "no drop ceilings."

If not, what options do I have? Above the drop is a ton of mechanicals (refrig lines, power, water, LAN, exhaust fans) so we need access to the area above. True ceiling is rough finish concrete with deep cast in beams.

Thanks for any help. If I need to hire a consultant, just let me know.


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Scampi

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 11:59 AM

You'd be better of to remove the drop ceiling, paint the existing one, or clad it with puckboard or similar plastic, cleanable surface

 

Dropped ceilings are a pest harborage point

 

If you were making RTC product, I'd say you're idea would work, but not in a RTE environment UNLESS you're willing and able to do frequent ceiling area pest inspections...........

 

Where I am now has all exposed items like you mention, and it's on a schedule for cleaning


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bradlingus

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:17 PM

Thanks scampi. Not what I wanted to hear this morning, but better now than when we fly the auditor down.

 

Labor is inexpensive where this plant is located and community employment is important, so regular cleaning is not an issue. We plan to process only one day a week initially, moving to two days in a year or two. Those dates are tied to our airlift capacities. We had already planned to pull all panels and wash weekly. Would we have to wash twice weekly; once before a day of processing and once after?

 

However, opening up the entire ceiling, cleaning up the mechanicals and hanging them properly (most are just lying on top of the grids), would also not be terribly expensive, and might even be cheaper. Could probably utilize locally bought materials too.

 

Covering the ceiling with puckboard or FRP would be difficult (lots of seams trying to get around the coffers). The pic below is just some photo I pulled off the Googles, but is very similar to what is above that drop ceiling, less all the mechanicals up there. So you would recommend painting that concrete? With what type of paint?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

2011-09-10-12-51-37-IMG_1347-1024x682.jp



MDaleDDF

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 04:59 PM

I personally wouldn't paint.   Chipping and peeling paint over production areas can be a nightmare.   I'm thinking you can guess how I know, lol.   We have to scrape and paint our ceiling above production once a year, and we basically shut down two weeks in December every year to deal with all the pains being in an older building presents.

 

An actual picture of your place would be cool to see, but the above pic looks nice and clean.   If you can get it to look like that, hellz yeah.



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Scampi

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 05:10 PM

From SQF

Walls, partitions, ceilings, and doors shall be of durable construction. Internal surfaces shall have an even and regular surface and be impervious with a light-colored finish and shall be kept clean (refer to 11.2.5).
Wall-to-wall and wall-to-floor junctions shall be designed to be easily cleaned and sealed to prevent the accumulation of food debris.

Something else to consider

 

Depending on your existing ceiling height and how much you can steal, it might be easier to install a new drop ceiling with hidden rails that can withstand cleaning

 

Like this?

https://genesisceili...ood-processing/

 

or better yet, this

https://arcoenvironments.com/panels


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bradlingus

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 05:26 PM

I personally wouldn't paint.   Chipping and peeling paint over production areas can be a nightmare.   I'm thinking you can guess how I know, lol.   We have to scrape and paint our ceiling above production once a year, and we basically shut down two weeks in December every year to deal with all the pains being in an older building presents.

 

An actual picture of your place would be cool to see, but the above pic looks nice and clean.   If you can get it to look like that, hellz yeah.

 

Awesome!

 

I don't have any pics of our ceiling but should have some today as soon as my biz partner takes some. The concrete is rougher than that pic and has far fewer coffers, but it is the hardest concrete I've worked with. 

 

Here is a pic of the room as it sits now with the drop ceiling. The tile ends right at the drop ceiling. I don't know if it is a raw edge or a coved edge. The floor will receive coving too. A lot of what you see is changing, but the layout will look like this. 

 

processing floor

Edited by bradlingus, 19 October 2021 - 05:38 PM.


bradlingus

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 05:42 PM

From SQF

Walls, partitions, ceilings, and doors shall be of durable construction. Internal surfaces shall have an even and regular surface and be impervious with a light-colored finish and shall be kept clean (refer to 11.2.5).
Wall-to-wall and wall-to-floor junctions shall be designed to be easily cleaned and sealed to prevent the accumulation of food debris.

Something else to consider

 

Depending on your existing ceiling height and how much you can steal, it might be easier to install a new drop ceiling with hidden rails that can withstand cleaning

 

Like this?

https://genesisceili...ood-processing/

 

or better yet, this

https://arcoenvironments.com/panels

 

So we've been talking to Genesis and would install a system like that in the above picture. PVC panels, clipped to the T-tracks with vinyl covers over the tracks and NSF splash zone rated troffer lights. But from your first post it seems like we would have to remove all the panels clean everything above the panels and re-install the panels prior to any processing run. That would be a full days labor for 1-2 guys. 

 

Our problem we keep running into with other solutions, like the Arco one you link to, is that the facility is owned by the government and mechanicals that go to other rooms run above the drop ceiling. They are requiring on demand access to that space. We have proposed the idea of manholes or access panels in a FRP or SIP type ceiling, but they won't approve. 



Scampi

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 06:23 PM

1, You wouldn't need to clean it every time you want to run, that is not what I said but once a year isn't going to cut it either. It needs to be on a schedule that makes sense for your product and building

 

2. How are you going to control your process when a government official demands access now and you're handling RTC product?  I hope this has been discussed ahead of time


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bradlingus

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 07:42 PM

1, You wouldn't need to clean it every time you want to run, that is not what I said but once a year isn't going to cut it either. It needs to be on a schedule that makes sense for your product and building

 

2. How are you going to control your process when a government official demands access now and you're handling RTC product?  I hope this has been discussed ahead of time

 

1. It was not my intention to put words in your mouth. Sorry about that. It was simply an assumption on my part. Like, how am I supposed to how often rats crap up there! Thanks for clarifying.

 

2. This room and our anteroom will have key card only access. The government facility manager will have a key card as his office and our office will be inside that security. We are still negotiating that path forward. We understand that issue completely. We've actually just pushed our audit back because our agreement to build and help operate this facility we predicated on the rest of the facility having a HACCP plan that is enforced (or else we can't get out SQF to pass likely). Those negotiations are going slowly and it is looking like we will have to write the plan and train for the plan for the rest of the facility. Immediately adjacent to this room is a "community" processing room where any fisher can come in and process their catch. Add in an open air retail market on the other side of this room and we have a host of issues that need to be addressed outside of our process but potentially impacting our process. Don't even get me started about the ice room. JICA has built amazing facilities all over the Caribbean, most have suffered from no sanitation plans and lots of differed maintenance. It is a challenge for sure. 



Scampi

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 12:03 PM

I would have your PCO inspect the ceiling area at least monthly if not twice/month.  Set up your schedule for twice/month visual inspection and quarterly cleaning for now and adjust both based on findings   That way if there is an issue with pests up there, you can address it and increase traps/cleaning etc as required

 

If you're lucky, there won't be an issue at all


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MDaleDDF

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 02:31 PM

I would have your PCO inspect the ceiling area at least monthly if not twice/month.  Set up your schedule for twice/month visual inspection and quarterly cleaning for now and adjust both based on findings   That way if there is an issue with pests up there, you can address it and increase traps/cleaning etc as required

 

If you're lucky, there won't be an issue at all

yes, mine is on my monthly walk thru checklist.  Good thinkin abe linkin....



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bradlingus

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 03:26 PM

After talking to a lot of folks about this, including a couple of seafood plant managers, nobody has seen a drop ceiling in a raw, ready-to-eat SQF facility. 

 

So we are going to go with an open ceiling and cleaning up the mechanicals and suspending them from food safe SS strut. It won't trip any auditor triggers and will be a far more sanitary and economical system in the long run. It will also be cheaper to do in the short run.

 

Thanks for this discussion everyone.



bradlingus

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 06:53 PM

For Scampi and MDaleMMF here are some pics of our celing above the drop. The concrete looks good and smooth up there. The top of the ceiling is 11' from the floor and there is only one beam that sticks down 18" that runs the length of the room (I had it in my head that  there were more cross beams. 
 
Will we need to stuff those refrigerant lines into a PVC conduit, or is that black foam insulation food safe?
 
AC refrigerant lines
 
In the second pic, will we need to pull that conduit off the wall and put it on food grade wall mounts or strut mounts? It is clear they need to be supported better to get rid of bow anyway. 
 
Wall mounted conduit

 


Edited by bradlingus, 20 October 2021 - 06:55 PM.


Scampi

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 07:46 PM

I would leave the conduit attached to the wall, put it in new PVC pipe, no worries there (put it on the sanitation schedule)

 

The foam has to go, they tend to breakdown quickly and you'll have a foreign material issue in  no time, just encase it in pvc

 

Voila!

Glad you've not got a mess up there, never know til you start pulling stuff apart!


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bradlingus

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 07:57 PM

I would leave the conduit attached to the wall, put it in new PVC pipe, no worries there (put it on the sanitation schedule)

 

The foam has to go, they tend to breakdown quickly and you'll have a foreign material issue in  no time, just encase it in pvc

 

Voila!

Glad you've not got a mess up there, never know til you start pulling stuff apart!

 

 

AMEN to that! 

 

I had my head up there all week and it didn't look bad and now that my colleague sent me a video, it will be a piece of cake. Likely won't even need to get the plumber or electrician involved. 

 

We are really torn about painting it. Sounds like SQF will require it. Would you use epoxy paint? I've had bad luck pressure washing any other type of paint.



bradlingus

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 05:14 PM

I don't know how alerts work on this forum, but hopefully you two will see this question.

 

If we don't paint the ceilings, or instead of painting the ceilings, can we use a food grade penetrating sealer like is used on concreted counter tops? 



Scampi

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 07:42 PM

Yes and yes

 

SQF does require a light coloured ceiling

 

If you go with epoxy done by professionals, they can spray right over everything, then you have a nice bright ceiling that is washable for years to come!


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bradlingus

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Posted 25 October 2021 - 07:48 PM

Yes and yes

 

SQF does require a light coloured ceiling

 

If you go with epoxy done by professionals, they can spray right over everything, then you have a nice bright ceiling that is washable for years to come!

 

 

I wish we had access to those sorts of professionals. I can't even get food grade epoxy coatings on the island. I *might* be able to get Sherwin Williams to bring some in, but finding someone to apply it is unlikely. 

 

I can densify and spray a food grade ceiling myself (or supervise the application). 

 

Our concrete is "sort of" light colored!






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