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Keeping Clean in the Kitchen: The Benefits of Clear TPU Aprons

June 25, 2024

Since hygiene and cleanliness are of utmost importance in commercial kitchens, freezing works, and cattle abattoirs, it is no surprise that professionals now choose clear TPU aprons above everything else. Let’s look at the myriad of benefits of these aprons.

Unmatched Durability

The TPU aprons might be the toughest ever. They’re impermeable to tears, punctures and abrasions – indispensable properties if you’re dealing with sharp implements and large pieces of unsafe machinery. 

They were made for this. For example, they’re great for equipment used in a cattle abattoir. Most protective clothing will be worn out, but not TPU aprons.

Superior Hygiene

Their non-porous TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) makes these aprons a good defence against contaminants, as they don’t absorb liquids and bacteria isn’t hiding in seams. 

Enhanced Safety

With such clarity, no contaminant or blob of food or drink goes unnoticed, and it is easy to see exactly what needs cleaning. 

Moreover, since the staff and customers know spills, it creates a sense of responsibility to tend to them immediately. 

Comfort and Flexibility

Although sturdy, crystallised TPU aprons are very lightweight and flexible and allow for a full range of motion and free movement, which is crucial for fast-paced and sometimes slippery kitchens and hectic and active slaughterhouses.

Cost-Effective Solution

Their lasting quality is TPU aprons’ biggest advantage to the industry. Purchasing them is a one-time cost, as you do not need to spend money on new aprons every two years. Besides, their ease of cleaning saves time and money.

History of Freezing Works in New Zealand and Where TPU Aprons Appeared

The story of freezing works is an essential part of New Zealand’s industrial history: the first shipment of frozen meat to Britain in 1882 heralded the birth of a major industry. Freezing works were New Zealand’s first large-scale industry.

While a date needs to be found for the introduction of TPU aprons into the industry, clearly, over time, with the development of the meat processing industry, a greater emphasis on hygiene and worker safety meant adopting more advanced protective equipment, including the TPU apron, chosen for its durability, resistance to oils and fats, and ease of cleaning.

Market Demand Makes PPE Prevalent in New Zealand 

This type of protective equipment was part of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used in freezing works and cattle abattoir equipment, part of an emerging expectation that the industry implements hygiene standards as time passes.

Market demand may have supported the rise of clear TPU aprons as producers realised the advantages of increased personal safety (they are transparent!) and preventing contamination. 

The durability and resilience of TPU against the ‘cold and damp conditions’ of freezing works made for a reliable choice in personal protective equipment for producers all along the meat-production chain, from abattoirs to freezing works.

Although the exact chronology of TPU aprons’ introduction into New Zealand’s freezing works is still unclear, the aprons, as we’ve discussed, have gained widespread usage because they uphold the overarching logic of the industry’s priorities, involving health, hygiene and efficiency. 

A History of Freezing Works

Individual freezing in New Zealand can be seen as a tale of innovation and progress. Here is a summary of how it came to the country.

  • Burnside Freezing Works: Established in Dunedin in 1882, Burnside was New Zealand’s first large-scale industrial works, set up soon after the first shipment of frozen meat from New Zealand to Britain in 1882.
  • Belfast Freezing Works 2: Completed in 1883, this was the second meat export freezing works in New Zealand and the first from a large-scale port in Canterbury.
  • Nelson Brothers’ Empire: William Nelson set the Tōmoana operation up as a boiling-down work in 1880, but it converted quickly to freezing works as refrigeration technology progressed. The Nelson Brothers’ name loomed large. After unravelling their Tōmoana holding, the Nelson brothers set up other works throughout the country.
  • Gisborne Sheepfarmers Frozen Meat and Mercantile Company: This company highlighted in 1927 its largest employer of labour and largest distributor of wealth in Poverty Bay – its vast Kaiti works on the Gisborne waterfront.

These were the first individual freezing works in New Zealand to play a role in making the country a major exporter of meat in global markets. Often located at or near wharves or span city centres using insulated railway carriages to transport the frozen carcasses, they employed hundreds of workers and paid well by local standards.

The emergence of ‘clear contaminant-resistant TPU aprons’ into this context is not dated in the archive but corresponds to an ongoing drive towards wider standards of hygiene and legibility. 

Today, clear TPU aprons are standard in the meat-processing industry. The affordances of the material – its thickness, contaminant resistance, and ease of cleaning – make these aprons indispensable in freezing works and cattle slaughterhouses the length and breadth of New Zealand.


Clear TPU aprons are an indispensable item in the food processing industry. Because it has durability, hygiene, visibility, comfort, and cost-effectiveness, this type of apron is a smart choice for professional use to keep shops well-conditioned and the workplace clean and safe. If food service operators use it in their kitchen or for freezing works or cattle abattoirs, you can be sure the meat your are getting serves won’t be contaminated.