7 outstanding chopping board color codes you must know.

Kitchen utensils on the background of the kitchen. Modern kitchen, background with cooking utensils.

Chopping boards color code helps to prevent cross-contamination between food groups which could potentially cause food poisoning in your dining establishment. As an essential part of any food preparation area or professional kitchen, color-coded chopping boards improve your kitchen hygiene and ensure raw and cooked foods do not transfer bacteria.

There are different chopping board colors that exist for the purpose of food safety. In a colored chopping board system, each board is used for a different type of food or food group.

Below are other types of chopping boards color codes that help to safeguard your kitchen hygiene and help to prevent food poisoning.

1. Yellow chopping board for cooked meat.

The yellow chopping board is used for cooked meat. For example, cooked meats like ham, beef, pork, and turkey slices. The yellow chopping board can also be used for meat that you have cooked and that you do like to slice or remove bones, such as a joint of beef or a whole chicken. The yellow chopping board must only be used for cooked meat. Also, if you need to cut or prepare cooked fish, such as slicing a salmon fillet or deboning a piece of trout, then you should also use the yellow chopping board. Note, raw meat must be prepared separately, on the red chopping board to avoid cross-contamination.

yellow chopping board

2. Red chopping board for raw meat.

A red chopping board is used for raw meat and poultry. When you would use this board includes cutting up meat before cooking it, or to steep meat, or to debone a piece of meat.

red chopping board

You must use the red board whenever you need to work with raw meat. This is needful for preventing cross-contamination between raw meat and ready-to-eat foods.

3. Blue chopping board for fish.

Also, call “fish chopping board”. You should use a blue chopping board for raw fish. For example, you would use it for fish such as cod, haddock, and pollock, for oily fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel, and including shellfish such as prawns, squid, and mussels.

blue chopping board

4. Green chopping board for fruits and vegetables.

The green chopping board is used for cutting fruits, nuts, salad, and fresh vegetables. You should use this board for cutting up fruit, such as apples, bananas, and strawberries, and when cutting up a salad, like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber.

green chopping board

5. White chopping board for dairy and bakery products.

A white chopping board is used for bakery and dairy items. You can use it for cutting bread, cakes, and pastries. You can also use it for dairy foods such as cutting cheese.

white chopping board

Remember you will always have to wash your chopping boards between uses and especially when you have had food on them that contains an allergen. For example, It could be fatal to prepare bread on an unwashed white chopping board that you used for cheese.

6. Purple chopping board for free allergic foods.

purple chopping board

You should use a purple board for preparing free-from foods, such as gluten-free bread or flour mixes. Not only is this good practice, but it could also prevent a fatal reaction for people who suffer from allergies. It’s essential that you take steps to prevent cross-contact and allergic reactions. Purple chopping boards can help reduce the risk of gluten contamination in your kitchen.

7. Brown chopping board for root vegetables.

brown chopping board

A brown chopping board should be used when you are handling root vegetables. For example, when you are cutting potatoes, grating carrots, or slicing beetroot. Root vegetables often still have soil on them, so using a brown chopping board helps to ensure that this dirt doesn’t come into contact with other food.

What are High Density and Low-Density Chopping Boards?

Colour-coded chopping boards are made from two different types of polyethene plastic which are high-density polyethene (HDPE) and low-density polyethene (LDPE). Both types of plastic chopping boards are used widely by cooks in professional kitchens and food preparation areas.

You might be wondering which type of food preparation chopping board is the one for you? Deciding which is the best chopping board will be easier after you have read our easy guide below.

High-density colour coded plastic Chopping boards

High-density are slightly more expensive, they offer much more durability than their low-density comparisons and are more widely used by cooks in busy commercial kitchens. It is recovered quickly to knife scratches and warping due to its deeper thickness. The board thicknesses range from 1.2cm to 1.9cm. High-density boards are built to last. It can be washed and dried in a commercial dishwasher.it is much heavier than low-density and may not be suitable for ALL kitchen types. It is more expensive than LDPE boards due to their durability. Also, it is more at risk of food contamination, due to being used for longer in kitchens and food preparation areas

colored chopping board set

Low-density colour coded plastic chopping boards.

Low-density colour-coded plastic chopping boards offer a cheaper alternative to ensure best practice food hygiene standards are met however, low-density boards may have to be replaced more frequently depending on their volume of use in kitchens and food preparation areas. It is much lighter and easier to carry around kitchens. LDPE boards can therefore be stored on smaller shelves in food preparation environments. It is replaced more often which reduces the risk of food contamination in food prep areas.

colored chopping board set

Also know that low-density chopping boards are less durable than HDPE boards as they are not as thick or strong. LDPE boards are more prone to knife scratches as polyethene plastic is less dense. The boards are prone to bending and warping so need to be removed from a commercial dishwasher before the drying cycle. Note that LDPE boards are best left to air dry.

When do you need to replace a Chopping Board?

Having colour-coded chopping boards is important for keeping food safe from microbial cross-contamination and allergenic cross-contact. However, it is equally important to regularly replace your chopping boards, especially when they are becoming old and worn.

There are ways you can identify whether you should replace your chopping board:

1. If it no longer stays flat on your work surface.

 Often when a chopping board has been cleaned lots of times it becomes deformed and bends, rather than sitting flatly on a surface as intended. At this point the chopping board becomes hazardous and you should replace it. If it does not sit flat on the surface, it can easily move when you are cutting something and therefore exposes you to danger.

2. If it has deep knife scores on it. 

Knife grooves are unavoidable on chopping boards due to their purpose. However, if you notice a large number of knife scores or some that are particularly deep in the board then it’s time for you to replace it. Plastic chopping boards should be replaced when knife grooves become too deep. Deeply scored plastic chopping boards run the risk of hiding harmful bacteria in their grooves which do not get removed when thoroughly cleaned even in commercial washers. When deep grooves appear, Smart Kitchen Home recommends replacing the board to keep your food preparations safe and bacteria-free.

Dirty white plastic cutting board with dark stains, scratch, on wooden background

It is also a good precautionary measure to replace your coloured boards if you find that somebody has been mixing them up, for example, if they have been using a green board to cut raw meat.

I hope you learn something new?

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