Restaurant Development & Design

SEP-OCT 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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2 6 • S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 Surface O n t h e What part do walls play in keeping kitchens hygienic/sanitary? Chris Kephalas: Walls are an integral part of keeping kitchens hygienic. Walls need to be easy to clean, resistant to temperature changes, resistant to high moisture, and free of all gaps that can trap dirt and bacteria. In terms of cleaning and hygiene, how important is the choice of wall coverings in a restaurant? CK: It's all about understanding the environment where you are installing your wall protection and selecting the "fit for purpose" product that provides long-term cleanability and durability. Operators sometimes make the decision of going straight to the most cost-effective wall panel without under- standing what the long-term challenges may be. They could face hard-to-repair wall damage and bacteria buildup, includ- ing mold and mildew. If tile is installed, there is no guarantee that an epoxy grout will be used. If the wrong grout is used, there will be a challenge with mold and mildew growth in the grout itself. If a highly textured wall panel is chosen for cover- ing up scratches, the challenge is the cleanability. Because highly textured panels are not smooth, they are not easy to wipe down. The wrong product installed in the kitchen could cause food safety issues that could lead to shutdown by local health authorities. How is the "open kitchen" concept affecting kitchen walls today? CK: Aesthetics is a growing priority in design criteria; therefore, installing functional walls is not enough anymore. You can't just install a typical wall panel, painted walls or tiles, like you would in the typical back-of-house kitchen. You need something that's more aesthetically pleasing because it's now part of the restaurant. The kitchen itself is an important part of the overall client experience. What is Altro Puraguard, and why is it different? CK: Puraguard is a 2-mm-thick PVC wall panel available in 4-by-9-inch and 4-by-10-inch lengths. Unlike other wall panels, it won't crack or release fibers if damaged, which is extremely important when you're talking about people's food! Puraguard is designed to resist the growth of mold, fungi and other bacte- ria that can put restaurant staff as well as customers at risk. Talk a little about the testing that Puraguard has conduc- ted to ensure protection against common hygienic issues like mold and mildew growth. CK: It's important that you need some form of wall protection in the kitchen, something that's made from an inert mate- rial like vinyl or plastic. Puraguard was subjected to a mold growth test, the ASTM D3273. In this test, samples were ex- posed to mold spores under ideal temperatures and humidity, and progress was recorded after each week. After four weeks of ideal conditions, Puraguard didn't show any sign of growth. Not all products are tested this way. What other benefits does Puraguard provide? CK: Puraguard offers more than just a wall covering or wall panel system. It's impact-resistant; it's got excellent cleanability and UV stability. It's cost-effective and easy to install. It's also Class A Fire rated, and not all wall panels can say that. The Importance of Wall Protection in Kitchen Hygiene A Q&A with Chris Kephalas, Walls Product Manager Americas, Altro Maintaining clean, sanitary walls is critical in avoiding food safety issues.

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