Are your Food Processing Premises Floors Inspection Ready?

Are your Food Processing Premises Floors Inspection Ready?

When starting up a company within the food industry, or with an existing business, authorised officers from your local council will visit your premises to check if your business is complying with food law and producing food that is safe to eat.

To do this, they will look at:

  1. Your premises
  2. How you work
  3. Your food safety management system
  4. The types of food you make and prepare

Authorised officers may visit your premises for several reasons, including:

  1. Food hygiene and food standards inspections
  2. Sampling
  3. Complaint follow-up
  4. Advisory visits

They will have the right to enter and inspect your premises at any reasonable time.

It is worth noting that authorised officers will usually arrive without making an appointment.

How often your business is routinely inspected will depend on the type of business and its previous record.

Some premises might be inspected at least every six months, others much less often.

Authorised officers will offer help and advice on food safety.

They can act if they find that your standards of food hygiene are not good enough.

In serious cases, action might include closing the premises or prosecution.

The Food safety checklist covers the key things you will be inspected on and will help you prepare for a food safety inspection.

Flooring

The floor in a workplace must be suitable for the type of work activity taking place on it.

The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (Regulation 12) require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions. People should be able to move around safely.

Where a floor is likely to be subject to frequent contamination, people should still be able to walk on it without the risk of slipping. See Assessing the slip resistance of flooring, which also describes the relevant British and European standards.

For detailed information on flooring see Safer surfaces to walk on, CIRIA

As a guide, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

The requirements shall include that the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety, and every such floor shall have effective means of drainage where necessary.

Food & Drink Flooring

Slips and Trips

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. On average, they cause over a third of all major injuries and over 40% of all reported injuries to members of the public. HSE statistics suggest that most of these accidents are slips, most of which happen when floor surfaces are contaminated (water, talc, grease, etc). Research by HSL for HSE has shown that a combination of factors can contribute to slip accidents

Consider what risks in your workplace may lead to a slip or trip injury and decide what suitable and effective control measures will prevent these types of accidents.

You then need to put these control measures into practice. Concentrate on the real risks – those that are most likely to cause harm.

Think about how accidents could happen and who might be harmed.

Practical steps to prevent slips and trips accidents within the Food Processing Industry.

There are many simple ways to control slips and trips risks and prevent accidents in your workplace. Here are a few examples.

Stop floors becoming contaminated.

Use entrance matting.

Fix leaks from machinery or buildings.

Make sure plant and equipment are maintained. 

Design tasks to minimise spillages.

Plan pedestrian and vehicle routes to avoid contaminated areas.

Use the right cleaning methods

Make sure that your cleaning method is effective for the type of floor you have.

Leave smooth floors dry after cleaning or exclude pedestrians until the floor is dry.

Remove spillages promptly. 

Have effective arrangements for both routine cleaning and dealing with spills.

Use the appropriate detergent mixed at the correct concentration.

Consider the flooring and work environment.

Check for loose, damaged, and worn flooring and replace as needed.

Floors likely to get wet or have spillages on them should be of a type that does not become unduly slippery. 

Make sure lighting is sufficient and that slopes or steps are clearly visible.

Keep walkways and work areas clear of obstructions. Get the right footwear.

Where floors cannot be kept clean and dry, slip-resistant footwear can help prevent slip accidents.

Consider how work is organised and managed, eg to avoid rushing, overcrowding, trailing cables.

Authorised officers can take enforcement action to protect the public.

This can include:

  1. Seizing foods suspected to be unfit for human consumption
  2. Writing you a letter following an inspection or outlining issues with compliance and asking you to correct these
  3. Serving a formal legal notice that sets out certain things you must do or forbidding you from using certain processes, premises, or equipment
  4. Recommending prosecution in serious cases

Authorised officers will allow you enough time to make changes unless there is an immediate risk to public health.

Floors and walls

Floors and walls must be:

  1. Maintained in a good condition
  2. Easy to clean
  3. Disinfected
  4. Smooth, hard-wearing, washable, and in a good state of repair

Do you need expert guidance for your next Inspection? Call us now and speak to one of our expert team to see how we can assist.

We will be with you through every step of the process; from the initial consultation right through to the installation of your flooring for food processing areas by our team of qualified flooring contractors, to ensure that your Food processing premises floors are inspection ready!

You will also have access to our excellent aftercare team, who can advise you on the maintenance and cleaning of your flooring solution. 

To speak to one of our dedicated team of specialists, please get in touch via our Contact Us page, or call us on tel: +44 (0)1803 868680. 

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