Coloured chopping boards

Your Guide to the Kitchen Colour Coding System

Your Guide to the Kitchen Colour Coding System

Although you know that you aren’t using the same knife to cut chicken and then vegetables, safety is of vital importance in commercial kitchens. By having a standardised system, you can have better control over the risks in your kitchen. 

Chefs across the world implement the colour coding system in their domestic and industrial kitchens. It is the optimal method to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen, thereby reducing the risk of food poisoning significantly. You will find the system in the vast majority of HACCP-compliant kitchens.

Without a good colour-coded system within the kitchen, the HACCP regulations of the kitchen can become compromised. Staff can end up using the same equipment for both high-risk foods such as raw meat, and products like salad and fruits. This leads to unsafe food products as well as excessive food waste. Having and maintaining a good kitchen colour coding system can save you time, money and stress. 

The system typically uses 6 bright colours to ensure easy identification of the correct colour for the correct food product. These colours are vivid and are easier to remember and distinguish the difference between. 

When properly adhered to, a colour coding system within your kitchen can massively reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Kitchens will implement this system in a number of ways, including: 

Is a colour-coded system a legal requirement?

The simple answer is no, a colour-coded system is not a legal requirement for industrial kitchens. However, the majority of chefs do use this system as it is both safe and practical. It is especially useful when there are multiple chefs working. The system makes it obvious which equipment has been used for which food product.

Which colour goes with each food product?

Red – Raw meat products such as chicken, beef, and pork.

Blue – Raw fish products such as salmon, cod, haddock and other seafood.

Yellow – Cooked meat products such as cooked chicken, ham and other cuts.

Green – Fruit and salads.

Brown – Root vegetables such as potatoes, onions and carrots.

White – Bakery products and dairy items such as cheese. 

How can I begin implementing a colour-coded system in my kitchen?

Invest in good-quality colour-coded kitchen equipment. Your system, as a result, won’t be disrupted by the warping of a red chopping board, or the breaking of a brown thermometer.

Additionally, another major element to creating a colour-coded system properly is education. In order for the kitchen colour coding system to work effectively in your kitchen, all staff must be aware of it. Ensure that all kitchen staff know which colour equipment is used with different food products. A lot of kitchens put up a poster to remind staff of the guidelines, this way they don’t have to work solely from memory. 

As well as this, staff must maintain the usual standards of good kitchen safety. Clean your colour-coded equipment thoroughly between uses, particularly the red and blue equipment, as these are used on high-risk foods. 

Where can I purchase high-quality colour-coded kitchen equipment?

Luckily, Creeds Direct is a best-selling manufacturer of high-quality and affordable colour-coded kitchen equipment. We sell all of the colour-coded equipment the modern kitchen needs from boards to scrapers, to thermometers and cleaning equipment. You can browse our full range of colour-coded utensils for your kitchen, here

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