Materials used in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants depend on the construction and size of buildings. Furthermore, the choice of materials will depend on possibilities of supplies and these possibilities will depend on geographical conditions, cultural traditions and expenditures on materials.
As far as possible local construction materials should be used. These may be quarry stone or lava blocks, concrete, limestone or asphaltstabilized bricks. Nevertheless concrete is recommended for floors. Materials should be chosen to facilitate cleaning.
Wood will often be available and will be used for different kinds of equipment but it has a certain disadvantage as regards hygiene. When wood is used for cutting boards and chopping blocks or other working surfaces, deep splits appear which will be difficult to clean especially because wood swells when moistened. When possible a better hygienic standard may result if wood is replaced by plastic, but only if the maintenance standard of the plastic is satisfactory. Cutting boards and chopping blocks must be planned regularly or when needed. Cutting boards should be preferred.
Different materials will have to be used for different kinds of equipment but often metal will be used. The type will depend on the equipment and should be resistant to detergents and disinfectants generally in use.
Stainless steel will corrode when exposed to strong alkalis, acids and chlorine.
Slightly alkaline detergents containing sodium metasilicate are recommended to minimize the corrosive effect. When these metals are exposed to chlorine, there will be some corrosion.
Rubber surfaces may be damaged when exposed to acidic detergents or detergents containing organic solvents.
Plastic will deteriorate when exposed to organic solvents.
Alkaline detergents containing metasilicate are recommended. When exposed to acidic detergents, concrete and cement will deteriorate.
Glass will frost over when exposed to alkaline detergents.
Strong alkaline detergents will deteriorate painted surfaces.
Galvanized iron will corrode when exposed to alkaline detergents as well as acidic detergents.
Wood is difficult to clean because of splits, which are nearly impossible to clean totally. Chlorine is therefore recommended for disinfection because it has a good germicidal effect and also decomposes different types of organic matter.