The meat processing business has changed a great deal since the family-run T.F. Kinnealey Co. in Boston began supplying high-quality beef and poultry to New England's finest restaurants in 1939. While the standards of quality and customer service may have been constant, production techniques haven't been.

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To more efficiently service their clients and to better-accommodate their growth, Kinnealey Meats bought an existing 100,000-square-foot industrial building in nearby Brockton, Mass. Company president John Kinnealey looked at the expansion as an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art processing facility that is efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible.

To accomplish this move, Kinnealey hired CMC Associates of Quincy, Mass., to design and manage the transformation of the existing building into the meat purveyor's new headquarters.

CMC Associates, a specialist in construction for the food and beverage industry, recognized the challenge. Specifically, meat processing plants require special floorings.

Floor wear comes in many forms. Food processing floor surfaces are exposed to mechanical wear from forklift tires, totes, and other heavy equipment. Impact damages could come from dropped tools and hoses. Because of constant cleaning, the surface receives thermal shock, thermal cycling, and steam cleaning. And along with all these forces, the coating must tolerate exposure to sugars, oils, chemical cleaners, sanitizers, spilled products, and processing liquids.

To meet these challenges at Kinnealey, the project team determined that a seamless flooring system from Dur-A-Flex Inc. would be ideal.

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The floor system used at the Kinnealey Meats plant tolerates high-temperature wash downs and stands up to the abusive environment present in such plants. Note how the coating was extended to cover the wall in the photo below.

Worn out concrete slabs on meat processing facility floors violate U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards and may present the risk of potential shutdowns. So the existing concrete slab was replaced to install new trench drains. The concrete was sloped to the drains so there would be no standing water after washdowns.

The contractors also poured new concrete curbing around the processing room's perimeter. At the same time, they also installed a 45-degree cant base at the intersection of the new curbing and floor. This resulted in a very cleanable surface where bacteria has no chance to harbor and grow.

Northeast Safe–T Solutions of Londonderry, N.H., treated the floor and curbing. The crew chose the Hybri-Flex EB hybrid flooring system from Dur-A-Flex.

Every day, workers spray a considerable amount of water onto the floors during cleaning. Maintaining a sanitary environment was one of the reasons the meat processing plant's owners chose a seamless flooring system. It is crucial to maintain the standards set by the USDA.

The Hybri-Flex EB system is very durable and is designed for the abusive conditions found in these types of food processing facilities. The system tolerates the frequent high temperature wash-downs, and stands up to the abusive environment in the plant.

Prepping the floor

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The new floor system at Kinnealey Meats after installation. Durable surfaces help food processors comply with stringent USDA standards.

The first step in the installation process was to profile/prep the floor. The contractor shot-blasted and keyed out the areas around the drains. Workers then rolled out the urethane base and spread it out with a notched squeegee. They then broadcast quartz aggregate so it evenly laid onto the floor. Workers swept the excess aggregate with a stiff bristle broom. The process was repeated, a topcoat was applied, and the floor was left to cure.

Another bonus was a quick on-time application. There was no need to wait for the hardened concrete floor to dry. Installation does not require a typical moisture mitigation system.

Kinnealey stipulated the floor surface must allow ease of cleaning, thermal shock, and chemical resistance, and had to be durable. Finally, it had to be aesthetically pleasing for staff and visitors. Facility owners and staff continue to enjoy the benefits of the flooring system. It continues to perform as expected and the quality of the floor will function as intended for years to come.

In addition, Kinnealey and the CMC design team worked very hard to incorporate as many environmentally friendly materials and procedures as practically possible into the project. For instance, the coating system helped to meet green standards because it has a low VOC content, is manufactured regionally, and is made of renewable resources.

Dur-A-Flex of East Hartford, Conn., is a manufacturer of industrial flooring systems. For more information, visit www.dur-a-flex.com.