Search Our Site

We have 3,355,289 registered online learners.
20 new learners so far today.

A Guide to Food Preparation Colour Codes

schedule 24th July 2017 by Alex Bateman in Food and Drink

a guide to food preparation colour codes

Preventing food contamination

Colour-coding kitchen equipment is essential for professional caterers. Preparing fresh salad ingredients and raw meat on the same chopping boards, for example, can contaminate food, potentially causing food poisoning and other illnesses as a result.

What's more, customers with food intolerances, allergies and dietary requirements may need their food to be prepared separately to other diners', and using a colour coding system for kitchen equipment such as utensils and chopping boards can help to prevent mix-ups.

Safe food handling is essential for anyone who works in food preparation, and colour-coding kitchen equipment is a relatively cheap way to implement a safe system that's easy for all to follow.

Colour-coding equipment is also one way to demonstrate to Food Standards Enforcement Officers that a business is taking steps to eliminate health risks. During an inspection, this will show them that a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system is in place to help avoid contamination.

Colour-coding kitchen equipment: A guide

There are many items of kitchen equipment that can be colour-coded to prevent bacteria from spreading, such as chopping boards, utensils, thermometers and storage containers, but also aprons, cloths and gloves used in food handling.

Different colours should be used to code certain pieces of kitchen equipment: for example, green, red and brown chopping boards should be used for preparing different types of food.

A guide to food preparation colour codes

There is a standardised system for colour-coding kitchen equipment across the foodservice industry, as explained below:

  • White - White is best used for bakery items, such as pastries, as well as any dairy products. It is important to note that eggs should be prepared separately to avoid the risk of salmonella bacteria spreading.
  • Yellow - Yellow is the best colour to use for any cooked meats. Cooked meat and raw meat should always be kept separate, and cooked meats should always be stored above raw meat in a fridge.
  • Green - Green equipment should be used for fruit and salad.
  • Brown - Brown equipment should be used when you are preparing vegetables.
  • Red - Red should be used for raw meat items, such as uncooked steaks. It is essential that any surfaces are cleaned thoroughly after preparing raw meat items.
  • Blue - Blue is used for raw fish. It is vital that raw fish is kept away from raw meat, as fish is a common allergen.

In busy kitchens, a colour coding system can be easy to forget, so it's a good idea to display a wall chart for employees to quickly refer to at any time. Signs reminding staff of the importance of meticulous cleaning to avoid cross-contamination of foods would also be useful.

At Virtual College, we have a range of e-learning courses available to help you become an expert in food safety and hygiene. Learn more about our level 1, level 2 and level 3 food hygiene courses.


Related resources

Alex Bateman - Virtual College

Author: Alex Bateman

Alex is interested in the strategic application of learning and development. In particular how organisations can promote engagement with ongoing learning campaigns. He spends his spare time renovating his Victorian house. Ask him about his floors, I dare you.

CPD
investors-in-people-silver
ISO 9001:2015
bcs-accredited-training-partner
Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Contact

+44 (0)1943 605 976

info@virtual-college.co.uk

Marsel House

Ilkley

West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.

Login

We are in the process of moving to one Virtual College website. If you want to go back to a course, or start a course, bought from our old website then you may need to login to our original learning management system. Otherwise, please proceed to our new learning management system to return to your training.

LMS

You are already logged in. Click the button below to be taken to your LMS dashboard. Alternatively, click logout to leave the system.