© 2022 All rights reserved Worktop Library
There are many factors to consider when choosing a worktop material for a professional kitchen. Besides design and aesthetic elements, food safety should be a priority because it forms the entire basis of food production. Food poisoning often results from poor storage, low hygiene standards, dirty kitchen floors, and irregular garbage disposal. The type of worktop you choose also contributes to food poisoning, especially if it is susceptible to harbouring bacteria.
Therefore, it is crucial to understand how these worktops impact food safety in a professional kitchen and how to approach installation. Here are more details about the topic to help you make informed decisions.
Why is Food Safety Important in a Professional Kitchen
Most food safety issues occur from pathogenic microorganisms that cause food poisoning and intoxication. Contamination may happen from the preparation process to the serving stage, and it is crucial to take measures to prevent it. One way is by installing suitable kitchen worktops in London to control cross-contamination. Before reviewing how the material impacts food safety, it is crucial to understand why food safety is essential.
Protection from Foodborne Diseases
Foodborne diseases caused by fungi, harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses are a threat to consumers and business owners. These diseases include diarrhoea, food poisoning, E. coli, etc., and taking appropriate safety measures reduces their chances of affecting you.
Failure to implement effective food safety protocols may lead to contamination of products in the food chain. If a product is contaminated, it may disrupt business operations, leading to costly product recalls. These recalls affect profitability and may prompt business closures. Having suitable worktop materials ensures proper handling of foods to reduce unnecessary cost expenditure.
Above: The new Silestone Victorian Silver quartz in a modern bathroom
Contaminated foods should be disposed of, and businesses can only reduce waste by practising proper food safety and production processes. The food safety management systems also ensure the detection and control of hazards before production.
Impact of Worktop Materials on Food Safety
Food preparation and storage require better hygiene, starting with choosing the fitting worktops. In most cases, bacteria are present on the worktops, sinks, and kitchen floors that the naked eye cannot see.
Porcelain is an ideal worktop material for professional kitchens because it ticks the right boxes regarding food safety. The material is non-porous; hence, it does not absorb any liquids or harbour bacteria easily. This makes porcelain worktops ideal for busy kitchen environments where humidity is high. Moreover, when installed with the right finish, porcelain worktops can enhance safety because they are slip-resistant.
Above: Dekton Sabbia. A non-porous porcelain by Cosentino impervious to water and liquid spillages.
Composite Quartz Worktops
Composite quartz kitchen worktops in London combine natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments, making them durable and hygienic for professional kitchens. Their non-porous surface makes them bacteria, moisture, and stain-resistant. The smooth surface prevents dirt and bacteria from forming on the crevices during food production. Composite quartz worktops are chemical and acid-resistant, guaranteeing food production without compromising food safety.
Above: Silestone Bohemian Flame, a composite quartz worktop material with bronze highlights.
Terrazzo worktops are also great alternatives for a professional kitchen. They are composite materials combining chips from solid materials like marble, quartz, or marble bound with resin or cement. When appropriately sealed, terrazzo is non-porous, preventing liquid absorption and harbouring of bacteria.
The smooth finishing ensures no joints or crevices that bacteria can penetrate. Therefore, the workspace remains clean and sanitary for food production purposes. However, kitchen staff must be careful when using sharp or heavy objects on the worktop surface because they are susceptible to chipping and cracking under extreme force.
Above: a modern bathroom with Agglotech Terrazzo Murano and modern black shower controls.
Natural Stone Worktops
Granite and marble are well-known for their beauty and elegance. Although these materials add sophistication to a professional kitchen, they require specialised treatment to maintain hygiene and food safety. For instance, since granite and marble are porous materials, they must be adequately sealed to make them stain and bacteria-resistant to prevent microbe growth and other risks to food safety.
Above: Sensa Maori, a branded natural granite offering a 15-year warranty against stains.
Ceramic worktops are made from natural clay materials fired at high temperatures, creating a robust and durable surface. These worktops are also liked for their aesthetics, as they come in various colours, patterns and styles to match the kitchen theme. Their natural flow creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, but using them professionally requires a careful approach. Like all the materials covered above, ceramic has a non-porous surface, which prevents the absorption of liquids that foster bacteria growth. Therefore, kitchen staff can easily prepare bacteria-prone food like raw meat and fish without compromising hygiene standards. Moreover, ceramic worktops are easy to maintain and clean with regular household cleaners. However, it is advisable to avoid using abrasive cleaning materials that could scratch the surface and create a moist environment for bacteria to thrive.
Above: Calacatta Hermitage Vein Tech by Infinity Surfaces, a full-body vein ceramic slab in a hotel lobby
The selection of a professional kitchen worktop is often based on business needs, preferences, and availability. While these are valid considerations, businesses should ensure their worktops attain the highest hygiene levels to protect consumers.
A non-porous, smooth worktop, easy to clean and non-corrosive is a viable option for keeping bacteria and germs at bay. You can choose from these options, but always consult a professional installer for advice on what will work best. They can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each worktop material and choose the most suitable option.
Meet Alan Nussbaum, our Sales and Marketing Manager, whose expertise in stone worktops is second to none. With almost two decades of experience, Alan’s impressive track record includes creating one of the first online stone companies in 2012 and pioneering the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in construction in 2018 before co-founding The Worktop Library with Maria.
Alan’s outstanding work is featured in numerous Stone and Home Decor magazines. In addition, he collaborates with the industry’s leading stone brands, cementing his reputation as a true innovator.
Before starting a thriving career in the stone industry, Alan honed his skills by overseeing luxury fashion brands such as Burberry, Matches Fashion, and Patrick Cox. With his unique blend of experience and expertise, Alan is a true trailblazer in the stone worktop industry. His passion for delivering exceptional service is evident in every aspect of his work.