Colour Coded Chopping Boards Used In The Professional Kitchen
In professional kitchens, chefs will mainly be using plastic colour coded chopping boards. Although there are other materials a chopping board can be made from including wooden chopping boards. Wooden chopping boards are more common in the home kitchen used by the home chef.
Colour Coded Plastic Chopping Boards
There are six main colours of chopping boards used in professional kitchens today. These colours relate to a specific type of food to help prevent cross-contamination. It’s advised for kitchens to stick to the colour coded chopping board system, to help prevent cross-contamination.
Many places use the common colour coded chopping board system, however, this is not a legal requirement. The establishment will need to have a colour coded chopping board system that they use and the employees follow.
The most important thing is that the chefs work clean.
Many places use this system, however this is not a legal requirement. Attentive cleaning and a set chopping board system that all staff are trained on, including the front of house staff is most important.
What are the chopping boards used in the system?
The Red Chopping Board – Raw meet
A red chopping board is used for high-risk foods including chicken and other raw meats.
The Blue Chopping Board – Raw Fish
The blue chopping board is used for the preparation of raw fish.
The White Chopping Board – Dairy
The white chopping board is used for dairy products, such as the cutting of cheese.
The Yellow Chopping Board – Cooked Meats
The yellow chopping board is used for the preparation of cooked meats.
The Brown Chopping Board – Vegetables
The brown chopping board is used for the preparation of vegetables, such as root vegetables.
The Green Chopping Board – Salads and Fruits
The green chopping board is used for the preparation of products such as cucumbers and oranges.
The Purple Chopping Board – Nuts
Some places may have a colour coded board for the preparation of nuts, this can be a purple chopping board. This helps to prevent allergy cross-contamination.
There are no set laws on using set colour-coded chopping boards for specific foods. It is possible to use any colour chopping board as long as it is cleaned and disinfected before it is used for another product.
This can cause opinions to differ and different places may have their own set rules on using colour coded chopping boards that need to be stuck to.
What are the hazards when using the chopping board system?
Potential Colour Coded Chopping Board Hazards
A potential cross contamination hazard in doing so is when an employee has been trained in a previous place to use the common set chopping board guide to a new place that does not. Such as; a red board is used for preparing a high-risk product, maybe chicken. And in the new place, the red board is used for a different product. Such as cutting salad.
Although the most important area is the correct cleaning of the chopping board before each job, to prevent cross-contamination and also allergen contamination.
Advice and Tips When Using Colour Coded Chopping Boards
To use a chopping board make sure you choose the correct colour of board for the product you will be preparing. The colour coded chopping board system should be followed that the place you are working in follows, this may vary to the general colour coded chopping board system.
Chopping boards may come in different sizes however there are two main sizes used this will depend on the workplace.
How To Use A Chopping Board Safely
It is important to make sure the chopping board is securely placed on the work surface. To safely secure the chopping board to the surface dampen some kitchen paper and place a small piece under each corner of the chopping board.
Make sure your chopping board is safely secured, a chopping board that is not safely secured will move around on the work surface and is a potential hazard for cuts.
Also, it is good practice to dispose of the chopping board correctly, such as after using a red chopping board for cutting raw meats or raw fish to take the chopping board straight to the wash-up area. Once your ingredients are safely prepared you will be cooking sauces and dishes.