Colour-coding plan to reduce risks in F&B facilities
Wells Hygiene and Vikan AS, Denmark, outline some key factors for getting the full benefits out of a colour-coded hygiene plan for cleaning and food handling tools and equipment.
The plan must be systematic, consistent, simple to use and keep the user in mind. For food-contact applications, always choose a colour that contrasts to the foodstuff being processed. Blue is a good food-contact colour as there are minimal blue foodstuffs. Therefore, if a cleaning tool finds its way into the product, it is more likely to be visually identified.
Don’t combine colours on individual tools or tool groups. Instead, use the same colour for both handles and broom or squeegee heads, for example. Limit the number of colours as much as possible. Don’t try to assign different colours to each and every step. If the colour-coding system is too complicated, it will not be easy to use.
Use different shades and contrasts to make it easier for colour-blind staff to differentiate colours. Use good signage (using images or multilingual text where necessary) to help make sure the system is used correctly. Implement the colour-coding system within all the zones affected at the same time.
Make sure all managers understand the system and train all staff. Make sure the tools are stored in the area where they are actually used, and use colour-coded storage, such as Wells 5S shadow boards and wall brackets.
Always inspect and replace cleaning equipment and food handling tools as soon as they begin to show any signs of wear, and regularly monitor and review the colour-coding plan.
Wells Hygiene/Vikan can develop a custom-designed colour-coding plan to suit users’ hygienic requirements.
Phone: 03 9699 8999
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