Pushing the food-safety Envelope
Zer-O—Loc’s hygienic envelope maintains a sanitary environment in the harsh world of meat and poultry processing.
Richmond, BC Canada-based Zer-O-Loc is Canada’s leading insulated panel manufacturer and distributor. Key to this company’s continuing success is its targeted and dedicated focus on further enhancing food safety through a wide range of products.
“The development of the Zero-O-Loc hygienic envelope — a system of high-performance building products designed to withstand the continual harsh wash downs required in maintaining a sanitary environment — is our company’s greatest food-safety success story to date,” says Kim Hexter, marketing director.
The latest food safety-related innovations emerging from Zer-O-Loc is factory-applied fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). Factory-laminated FRP is an essential component of the Zer-O-Loc hygienic envelope.
“Fiber glass reinforced plastic is bonded to the surface of our panels during the manufacturing stage,” Hexter says. “Applying FRP at this stage is very important because it ensures the strongest bond between the FRP and the steel of the wall panel.”
While this procedure was originally developed to provide scratch and dent resistance, it was soon found to be an ideal product for high wash-down food areas, she adds. FRP can be applied a minimum of four feet up the wall, in the full height of the panel, as well as the ceiling.
Zer-O-Loc walk-on suspended ceilings allow maintenance of services above the ceiling while production continues below in a bright, sanitary, and hygienic environment. Constructed with Zer-O-Loc EPS insulated panels, the finished Zer-O-Loc walk-on suspended ceiling system is energy efficient and durable, and it is ideally suited for low temperature, food processing and controlled environment applications.
The company also manufactures a line of hinged and manual sliding cooler and freezer doors that contain no wood in the door leafs or frame components, which makes them ideal for food-processing facilities. And the finishing components (panels, doors, and trim) of the Zer-O-Loc hygienic envelope may be manufactured in stainless steel to avoid paint erosion and flaking, which can occur in high wash-down areas.
As far as food-safety challenges go, panels and doors top processors’ lists.
“Meat and poultry processors depend on panels and doors to maintain a sanitary environment,” she says. “Within these environments, panels and doors are subjected to continual, harsh wash downs, and can potentially break down [paint erosion or flaking], resulting in potential food contamination. Food processors using the Zer-O-Loc system notice a tremendous improvement in performance and durability within their plant environments.”