From farm to fork, there is the risk of food contamination exist, and it requires prevention and control at all levels. For those working in the food and beverage industry, ensuring the safety of their product throughout the process is a major preoccupation. The possibility of their product contamination with toxic pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, or cross contamination with allergens is a major concern, not to mention the accidental addition of a foreign body. Any time the safety or quality of food is affected, the results can be devastating, and in some cases deadly.  Fortunately, the use of a colour coding system minimizes these occurrences and supports Current Good Manufacturing P­ractices.

Colour coding helps to keep utensils clean

Colour coding is a way of differentiating between different stages, parts, tools or areas of a food production process. An example is using red for raw and blue for cooked items. Keeping utensils clean and sanitized is a crucial aspect of food and beverage processing and colour coding utensils is an effective way to minimize contamination, improve food safety and quality, and reduce costly recalls that can damage a business’ reputation.

Colour coding basics

One of the most common uses of colour coding in production processes is to differentiate between equipment used for cleaning food contact and non-food contact utensils or surfaces. For example, using green to identify cleaning utensils used for floors in production areas. Black is commonly used to identify equipment used for drains, engineering and outdoor areas, as dirt remains invisible. Blue is often used to identify equipment used for cleaning food contact surfaces, as few food products are blue and the colour contrast makes it easier to detect plastic or fibre fragments in food products from cleaning equipment. Tools intended for use with specific allergens or chemical agents can also be colour coded to avoid the transfer of allergens to non-allergenic foods. Whatever you do; don’t mix your colours!

Consult our Food and Beverage Processors’ catalogue of supplementary products. It contains the complete line of Vikan accessories, including brushes, buckets, squeegees and more, available in red, blue, yellow, green and white.

A worthwhile addition

Using colour codes is simple and a practical way to help ensure food safety. Colour stands out more than text, it transcends language barriers, and when cleaning utensils are colour coded by area, it’s easy to see when something is out of place and correct the situation. If you keep your colour coding simple; between three and five colours maximum, and consistent, and you reinforce it with additional signage and communication, you’ll ensure safer practices which lead to safer products.