When the day ends and you fire up the grill or sit down at your favorite restaurant, food safety is most likely not at the top of your priority list.  Sure, most people are washing their hands, keeping raw and cooked food separated, and keeping foods at safe temperatures.  If you go out to a restaurant most check the door for that “A” from the local health department.  All of these are necessary practices to keep our families safe and healthy.  Regardless of who prepares your next meal, is that enough to ensure food safety?  What if the food is contaminated before you ever decide what is on the menu for the evening?   

According to the USDA the United States agriculture, food, and related industries contribute roughly $1.53 trillion dollars to U.S GDP.  The output of America’s farms contributes $203.5 billion to this total.  It’s easy to believe these numbers when you consider the average American will consume 35 tons of food in a lifetime.  We can debate if that is extreme or what these foods should be, but we will leave that conversation for another blog to tackle.  In reality, most of this food will be processed in some way or another.  The Department of Agriculture classifies food as processed when anything is done to alter its natural state.  This means if it’s washed, cooked, frozen, dried, milled, dehydrated, chopped, or even simply packed, it is processed.  As an industrial floor coating professional for the last 24 years, I have been in countless food processing facilities.  While I do not consider myself a hero, “You guys are heroes!” has been used when we have repaired damaged epoxy flooring before a USDA inspection.   


Common areas Manufacturing Floors need repairs: 

  • Broken or Missing Cove Base 
  • Cracking Floor Joints 
  • Damaged Floor Coating at Floor Drains 
  • Slick Flooring in wet areas 
  • Loading Dock Floors 


Farms are the beginning of the food process.  From herbs to cattle, most of what ends up on the dinner table comes from a farmer.  Many of us think of grass and dirt, not manufacturing floors when we think of the local farm.  When you consider how much is produced and how little down time these operations see durable floors are a must.  Milking chambers are areas where cleanliness and safety are often overlooked.   Acid-based cleaners and hot water washdown are a daily practice in these facilities.  This is extremely detrimental to the concrete and can lead to spalling and erosion of the substrate.  When the concrete becomes too damaged it is all but impossible to clean.  These areas can breed E. coli, Listeria, Brucella, and Salmonella.  These can be harmful or deadly to farm workers and impact the health and productivity of the herd.  Not to mention the expense and loss of productivity if areas become so damaged the concrete has to be totally replaced.   

Another area on the farm where you will find resinous floor coatings is greenhouses.  With organic options being more important than ever growing produce, herbs, and even marijuana in large greenhouses is very common.  While greenhouse operations allow better control of the elements, rodents, and insects they pose a different set of problems.  Mold and mildew can become prolific causing damage to plants and soil quality.  Epoxy floor and wall coatings allow these surfaces to be thoroughly cleaned, preventing mold growth.  Cementitious urethane floor coatings can also be sloped to improve drainage when caring for plants or performing a deep clean.  The bright sheen of these floor coatings can also increase light reflectivity, reducing energy consumption for the grower. 


Common Areas for Floor Coatings on Farms: 

  • Greenhouse Flooring 
  • Veterinarian Clinic Flooring 
  • Milking Chamber Floors 
  • Feed Room Flooring 
  • Medical Storage Rooms 
  • Seed Lab Flooring 
  • USDA Inspection Areas 



Once fruits, vegetables, or meat are produced it typically heads over to a processing plant.  Even grains, salt, and sugar have a process and path it follows to store shelves and restaurant coolers.  The farms are busy places, but these facilities rival automotive manufacturers in size, scale, and volume.  When you visit industry trades shows such as PACK Expo or NAMA Show the scale of processing equipment is on full display.  Food processing facilities have become technological wonders.  Nat Geo released Food Factory a few years ago and it is a great example of the technology being used in our food supply chain.  This is another area where maintaining concrete floors is critical for food safety.  These production areas are being washed down and disinfected multiple times per day.  Bare concrete floors are not designed for this, and in combination with forklift and cart traffic can become spalled, dented, and cracked in a matter of months.  These areas are where listeria can arise and spread through a facility undetected.  Repairing and protecting these areas from further damage can go a long way in preventing outbreaks.  Just like the loss of productivity on a farm, contamination in a food processing facility can become catastrophic in a short period of time.  Not only is it costly to correct, the loss of production time and inventory multiplies quickly.  On top of these losses a major outbreak can damage your company’s reputation indefinitely.  A simple preventive maintenance schedule for your food facilities flooring is a cost-effective measure everyone should consider.  I have numerous food processing facilities we work with regularly to prevent damage to concrete floors and stay ahead of potential contamination issues.  Liquid Floors can also design a seamless flooring system to address these issues before production ever starts.  Products such as ProKrete SL are durable food and beverage flooring solutions that can provide years of service.  Designing a durable flooring solution during the design process can decrease overall expenses and prevent future issues.   

Resinous Flooring Manufacturers we partner with: 

  • Dur-A-Flex 
  • Sherwin-Williams 
  • ProRez 
  • Res-Tek 
  • Neoguard 
  • Sika 
  • Rio Flooring Systems 


The next step in the food supply chain is food warehouse facilities, distribution, and cold storage.  These facilities are typically the last stop before food arrives at local grocery stores and restaurants.  Finished goods are stored on warehouse shelves or in larger industrial freezers.  Often products are simply taken off one semitruck and loaded directly onto another.  These loading docks are extremely busy, with high traffic areas. Pallets are pushed and slid on the concrete leading to some of the worst floors you will see in production facilities.  It is easy for facility managers to let these areas fall into disrepair.  For most warehouses these loading docks never see a shutdown or downtime.  Loading docks are also neglected because the mentality is they will only become damaged again and it is a “waste of money” to make the floor “pretty”.  Sadly, for the food processing facility their reputation and beautifully packaged product often ends up on a filthy loading dock just before it arrives to the end user.  These areas become another uncleanable surface where bacteria can thrive and often rodents are prevalent.  All the effort put into producing a quality product can be destroyed if stored in these conditions for even a short period of time.  While epoxy and cementitious urethane flooring have their place, most of these facilities don’t have the time to allow them to properly cure.  Combine the short window to repair the problem with cold temperature from climate or the facilities refrigeration, working time to repair damaged warehouse flooring is further reduced.  This is where working with the right industrial flooring company is priceless.  Designing a flooring system that can meet a realistic budget and your unique demands requires the contractor to be versatile and trained in all aspects of resinous flooring.  Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Floor Coatings can be the only option for some of these tough environments.  These systems are extremely durable floor coatings and can fully cure in under one hour.  MMA floors can also be applied in temperatures as low as 0 degrees.  For industrial freezers where increasing the temperature is not possible MMA can be a game-changing option. Cold storage flooring must be cleaned and de-iced to maintain a safe working environment.  This process can also lead to concrete failure and costly repairs.  While there are many benefits to MMA flooring it can be extremely difficult to work with.  These flooring materials require experienced contractors familiar with ventilation equipment and techniques.  MMA vapor can cause the floor to not cure properly or even lead to fire dangers or health issues.  As scary as this sounds these issues are extremely uncommon when working with an experienced contractor. 

At the end of the day most of America’s farmers and food processors want to produce high quality products they can be proud of.  I have worked with facility managers and safety professionals from many industries, and they all share common values.  All typically show immense pride in their manufacturing plants, products, and the people they work with.  While “processed foods” get a bad reputation in the media at large, most of these companies are not out to poison the world.  Every item you take from the shelf of your local grocery store has been processed in some way, even if it’s simply washed and packaged.  It’s not all cookies and cakes, even though I’m personally a big fan!  I would encourage you to take a moment to look around your kitchen or the tables at the restaurant tonight.  The food processing industry employees 1.7 million Americans every year.  It’s fun to think about how many of those people, most of us will never meet, cared about the quality and safety of tonight’s meal.