Praised for its elastic quality and versatility, rubber is seen as a multi-purpose product that has become one of the world’s most useful materials. Rubber sheeting can be used for a variety of different applications, in packaging solutions, in gaskets, strips, shapes. With a wide variety of different sheeting materials suitable for working with or resisting a wide range of environments.

Rubber sheeting is an extremely useful product in our everyday lives, and it has a broad range of uses across different industries. Below, we are going to look at some of the properties of rubber sheeting and how it has benefited the catering and food processing industries:

Rubber sheeting can be a safe material to use in food processing

Food processing warehouses have to maintain the highest standards when handling food products for consumers. Food grade rubber seals are among the safest products to use in food handling and packaging because they are non-toxic and odourless. Rubber sheets can therefore be used by catering and food processing industries, throughout the manufacturing cycle, to help ensure that food being processed, packaged, transported, cooked, and eaten is uncontaminated through each step of the process.

Temperature resistive qualities

In the initial stages of food processing, rubber sheeting can be beneficial due to its ability to withstand and function under extreme hot and cold temperatures. The material is therefore ideal to use as food grade seals and gaskets, on a number of industrial machines needed for food processing, as these machines experience a wide temperature range. Food grade rubber sheeting does not become brittle or crack under these extreme temperatures. It can therefore maintain its sealing performance across a long service life.

Resistance to oil

Rubber sheeting repels most types of oils and grease, and has some resistance to abrasion and tearing. This makes it an ideal material for food industries that work mainly with fats, oils, and greases. The fact that oil and grease might not damage the performance of rubber, means that it’s extremely long lasting and will not need to be replaced often - this is another great benefit of rubber sheeting.

Non-slip qualities

The catering and food processing industries often require a gripping, textured surface. Food grade rubber sheets are designed to provide traction and abrasion resistance against a multitude of elements including water, grease and oils. The non-slip properties of the material provide friction and can in turn, provide safety and reliability.

Rubber sheeting is extremely versatile

Rubber sheeting is an incredibly versatile product, mainly due to the ease at which it can be molded, shaped, and cut, according to different requirements. It therefore lends itself to a variety of tasks and can be used for a number of different purposes across the food manufacturing process.

Why it’s important to create a safe working environment

Creating a safe working environment is extremely important for each and every employee because all workers deserve to work in a safe and protected environment. Health and safety should be a key factor in all industries, in order to promote the wellness of both employees and employers.

Workers in the catering and food industries are exposed to many potential hazards and dangers including falls, trips, knife cuts, and exposure to hazardous chemicals. It is important that these dangers are minimised to create a safe working environment for all employees and to reduce the risk of injury.

According to HSE “slips and trips injuries comprise 35% of 'major' injuries in the food and drink industries.” Slip injuries are more common in the catering and food processing industries as there is a greater risk of water, oils, or grease getting on the floor and creating a slippery surface. HSE add that “most slips (90%) occur when the floor is wet with water or contaminated with food product.” Warehouses should have non-slip flooring and provide rubber mats for workers to stand on. This is a simple way to minimise the risk of injury and provide workers with a safe working environment.

Final Thought

As you can see, rubber sheeting has a wide variety of applications throughout the stages that food goes through, before making its way into the hands and mouths of consumers. It also helps to provide a safe working environment from workers in the catering and food processing industries, by offering non-slip flooring and surface covers, as well as protection from extreme temperatures.

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