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Colour Coding Your Kitchen (And Why It's More Important Than You Think)

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Why do you need colour coding in your kitchen? Simple. To protect yourself against cross contamination. Assigning different colours to food groups helps you preserve the cleaning and food-prep process, which is vital for a safe, hygienic business.

In 2019, following the high-profile deaths of customers due to food allergens, hospitality businesses have been under the spotlight. It's never been more important to stay on the right side of food safety and hygiene laws.

After all, people's lives depend on it.

Protect against allergens

Admissions to hospitals due to food allergies have increased by more than 500% since 1990. With customers falling seriously ill due to suffering allergic reactions, there is a major need to re-think the processes of food prep, production and labelling.

With this in mind, the colour purple has been introduced to signify allergen food groups during kitchen prep.

How to colour code your kitchen

Colour coding is essential to protect your business and keep your customers safe. You can colour code your chopping boards and kitchen utensils for consistent organisation, helping you eliminate cross contamination. You can also colour code your cleaning equipment for different rooms and surfaces.

Here are the colours and their corresponding food groups. It’s helpful to include a wall chart outlining these so that all kitchen staff are aware.

Purple = allergens
White = bakery and diary
Yellow = cooked meat
Brown = root vegetables
Red = raw meat
Blue = raw fish
Green = salad, fruit and fresh veg

Chopping boards

Colour coded chopping boards are essential for hygienic food prep.

You can choose different material depending on how long you want the boards to last. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is incredibly durable, but you may prefer to have low-density and replace your boards often – which can be particularly effective for cutting out cross contamination.

Check out our infographic on colour coding

Knives, Utensils & Cleaning

Colour coding equipment isn't just limited to chopping boards. Other equipment includes chef knives from Hygiplas, tongs and pocket thermometers.

Colour coded cleaning is also important, helping you to separate (for example) mops that have cleaned the bathroom floor to ones that clean the kitchen.

Our colour coding equipment includes:

Colour coded knives
Colour toded tongs
Colour coded pocket thermometers
Colour coded dustpan and brushes

Food labelling

Keep your kitchen organised with correct food labelling. Correctly identify ingredients and delivery dates, helping to reduce waste and improve hygiene. It's a cost-effective method to avoid cross contamination and make sure no ingredients are misused by mistake.

>>> For more advice please read our guide to colour coding in commercial kitchens << <

By Alvin Cobham

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