MRO Q&A: What Kind of Floor Drain Components Should I Have for Meat and Dairy Processing?

July 8, 2010
MRO Q&A is a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants.

Q. What type of floor drain and components are appropriate for a food processing center that produces meat and dairy products? Currently I have a porous rubbery border around the edge of a floor drain. It has a very strong odor. It is unable to dry.

To pose a question to our panel of plant operations experts, check out our Plant Maintenance Resoure Center
A. The wet, porous, rubbery boarder around the edge of the floor drain appears to be a problem that needs to be addressed. When designing a floor drain for use in a meat and dairy processing area, the first criteria should be to have a drain outlet that ensures adequate drainage for the anticipated volume of water and waste in the processing area without creating a back-up issue that could lead to contamination of the area. Contamination issues also can result when the main body of the drain has crevices or pockets on the surface area of the drain, where bacteria could build up.

The material of design for a drain should allow for the routine sanitation of the drain, and this material should be able to withstand the corrosive chemicals that will be used in regular washdown operations for the processing area. It would be very desirable for the material used in manufacturing the drain to have a useable life equal to the expected life of the building.

All drains and drain materials should be odor-free, and your sanitation program should allow for regular cleaning and inspection of the drain. You may want to consult further with your USDA or FDA inspector and review the Code of Federal Regulations regarding adequate floor drainage (9 CFR 416).