News & Insights

Commercial Kitchens – A Case for Antimicrobial Cladding

In September 2016, the UK Food Standards Agency found that almost 30,000 businesses, or 6.4% of the total, had failed their inspections, including more than 7,000 takeaways and 8,000 restaurants. The analysis revealed a huge variation in hygiene levels across the country, with some local authorities failing large numbers of food establishments and others failing just a few.

Reassuringly for the health of our children, schools, colleges and universities received the best scores nationwide of any type of food establishment, with less than than 1% given a failing rating. Takeaways and sandwich shops received the worst scores, with 15% judged to be below expected standards. While cafe and restaurant chains tended to have very high safety and hygiene ratings, several branches of the larger chains recorded the lowest scores.

new-fort-dunlop-4In 2014-15, more than 160,000 food hygiene enforcement actions were issued nationwide. Sanctions included more than 1,000 cases of voluntary closure (pending promised improvement), 416 cases of the seizure, detention and surrender of food, and 26 instances of a suspension or revocation of approval of licence. At the extreme, inspections have revealed pest infestations from mice, rats, and cockroaches, but most establishments are challenged over more mundane hygiene issues such as staff training, and procedures for cleaning and maintenance and for monitoring temperatures.

There is surely a link between the variability of hygiene standards in commercial kitchens and the quality of training and commitment of their employees, and that will apply to such things as hand washing techniques and the regularity and thoroughness of wiping down surfaces. While controllable, these issues will always be variable where staff are concerned which is why kitchen management is so important.

Imagine then that all your wall and floor surfaces are antimicrobial. It will provide a number of advantages:

  • The antimicrobial additive interrupts the breeding cycles of a range of microorganisms, from bacteria, to protozoans, fungi, and mould. This means that those organisms cannot breed on the surface.
  • Because the antimicrobial additive is embedded throughout the products at the point of manufacture, day to day scuffs and scratches do not affect its antimicrobial performance.
  • Although the installation of antimicrobial surfaces does not remove the need for regular cleaning, their performance remains effective, 24 hours a day seven days a week. Antimicrobial panels won’t call in sick, and won’t slacken performance when they are having a bad day!

Antimicrobial surfaces provide a solid foundation for kitchen hygiene. In 2012, microbiologists conducted extensive tests in the kitchen of a residential care home in Leicestershire, to monitor bacteria levels on 35 different surfaces from door handles to ceiling tiles, to furniture surfaces and wall cladding. BioClad wall panels revealed zero incidence of bacteria.

So when you are called in to upgrade a commercial kitchen or are looking to improve hygienic wall cladding standards on your own, it makes a lot of sense to call us for advice and a quotation!






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