The sixth largest contributing factor to foodborne illness is cross-contamination (An Introduction into the Food Service Industry, 2004).
While there is no substitute for thorough cleaning and sanitization after every use, color coding your food prep smallwares is a good way to lessen the chance of cross contamination.
Color coding allows employees to identify quickly which cutting boards, knives, cut resistant gloves and utensils should be used for a specified food. For example: using only yellow smallwares for chicken and only green for vegetables, you can ensure that raw chicken never comes in contact with vegetables for the dinner salad.
The Meaning Behind the Colors
The following guideline is widely accepted as a way to identify and separate the tools needed in preparing certain foods.
Fruits & Vegetables
Tip: Color coding different departments of operation is another way to help reduce cross contamination. For example, all red colored items will be used in the butcher's shop, while white colored items will stay in the bakery.
What Food Preparation Items can be Color Coded?
There are a variety of sizes and costs for any customer to ensure cross-contamination is never an issue.