Food safety systems can do more than keep diners safe. Effective food safety systems can also increase the operational efficiency in a kitchen. From preventing cross-contamination to making food types easy to identify at a glance, color coding systems are a great way to assign order to what can easily become a chaotic environment. The Carlisle color coding system has been specifically designed with chefs’ kitchens in mind to help keep food safe and help kitchens run smoothly. Carlisle color coded products are available in a wide assortment of different colors that fit into multiple color coding systems. Every kitchen is different and some kitchens have different needs and challenges that need to be met in specific ways. However, Carlisle has developed a system of color coded food segregation that applies to most kitchens. The system involves assigning different colors to groups of food based on their types. White is used for prepared food, dry food and dairy. Green is used for produce. Red for meat. Blue for fish. Yellow for poultry. Additionally, Carlisle suggests using purple for identifying allergen control products in the kitchen. Purple has become the identifying color for allergen control products, not allergen free products. Through consultation with chefs and professionals in the industry, it was realized that having entirely, “allergen free,” products are not realistic in a kitchen. Therefore, Carlisle suggests that purple products be used for allergen control points. In some instances, it makes more sense for a purple storage box to contain a food that is an allergen in order to separate it from the rest of the kitchen’s food supply. In other instances, like when using a cutting board, it makes more sense for the purple color to signify a cutting board that is to only be used with allergen free foods, in order to eliminate cross-contact. Carlisle suggests using purple products to control allergens in the way that makes sense to the kitchen’s staff. Carlisle color coded food boxes also fit into a particular stacking order when storing food. Carlisle suggests stacking food with prepared food at the top of the shelf (white), followed by produce (green), meat (red), fish (blue) and poultry (yellow) at the bottom. This stacking order is based on the minimum internal cooking temperatures of the foods. The lower the minimum internal cooking temperature, the higher the food sits on the shelf. That way, any liquid that might drip onto the food below has a greater chance of being sterilized during the cooking process. An effective color coding system is a vital part of an efficient kitchen. Carlisle has color coded products to fit all types of kitchens. From receiving and storage using color coded food boxes, to prepping food with color coded cutting boards, to cooking and serving food with color coded dishers and tongs: Carlisle has considered the real-life challenges that chefs and kitchen staff face when working to prevent cross-contamination and keep the kitchen running safely. More information is available on our Spectrum Food Safety page.