In a busy food warehouse line marking is vitally important both for the safety of staff and the efficient operation of the facility. It is used for a wide variety of applications from highlighting where it is safe to walk, to indicating a hazardous area.

The application of line marking in food and beverage warehouses, however, is not straightforward; it requires specialist expertise. All food warehouses not only have to adhere to strict safety and sanitation standards but many of them also operate in either a chilled or freezing environment. These particular factors directly affect the line marking solutions that can be used in them, as this guide will explain.

Different types of line marking for food warehousing

The different type of line markings in a food warehouse can include the installation of zebra crossings, the delineation of storage areas, warehouse pedestrian walkways, marshalling lanes for forklift truck routes or vital emergency exit pathways.

line marking for food warehouses

External line marking is also required in many food warehouses to indicate loading door bays or to mark out car or truck parking.

Why food warehouse line marking matters

The highest hygiene standards are applied to food warehouses to safeguard food products and to ensure that the facilities can operate within sanitation guidelines.

Line marking that has a smooth finish with sealed edges means that there are no gaps for bacteria to breed which could contaminate food stored inside the warehouse. The addition of a waterproof surface stops any germs permeating through the floor marking.

Smooth edges and a non-slip finish are easy to keep clean and also ensure that the floor line markings don’t present a trip or slip hazard to staff.

line marking for food industry

The line marking must be extremely durable for a busy warehouse setting, resilient to fading or  damage that could be caused by heavy fork lift traffic or harsh chemicals used for cleaning/sanitation.

Preparing the food warehouse floor for line marking

Preparation of the floor surface prior to applying line marking paint is fundamental to the successful application of paint and its subsequent durability of finish.

The usual preparation methods are either shot blasting or diamond polishing the area to be painted. These treatments ensure a good ‘key’ for the paint which then strongly bonds to the floor.

Safe paint for food industry warehouses

To allow work to continue in the food warehouse it is vital that ‘food safe’ paint is used when marking the warehouse floor. The paint must be odourless, containing no solvents or isocyanates so that it will not contaminate food products. This means that the food warehouse can continue to operate whilst line marking is being applied. This is highly advantageous to productivity as it avoids downtime; closing down a facility or emptying part of a warehouse to avoid contamination is very disruptive.

It is important that the paint used for line marking is resistant to both cold and hot conditions so that it doesn’t degrade with extreme temperatures or flake when it is cleaned with harsh chemicals and hot water to meet hygiene regulations.

The paint also needs to have an extended lifespan so that it remains both bright and visible for a long period.

Line marking in a chilled or frozen food warehouse

As the time taken for paint to cure (completely harden) can be much longer under cold or frozen conditions, chilled or frozen food warehouses have very specific requirements for line marking treatment.

Special types of paint are used which comply with sub-zero regulations. These paints can not only be applied at low temperatures, but they will also adhere and cure properly at extreme temperatures.

‘Rapidshield’ – ultraviolet cured line marking

The ‘Rapidshield’ line marking paint system used by inotec UK uses a water-based line marking paint which cures very quickly and has no odour, making it ideal for use in a food warehouse.

A clear UV coating is applied on top of the colour coat and is cured instantly using a high powered ultraviolet light to form an extremely durable, easy to clean finish.

line marking for food industry warehouses

Internal line marking from the professionals – inotec UK

The application of line marking paint in a food warehouse is best carried out by a qualified company with specialist knowledge and expertise. Using a well-known company which is respected in the industry helps ensure you will get a truly professional, long-lasting solution.

Click here to learn more about a major line marking project completed by inotec for one of the UK’s leading food logistics companies.