Remco Education and Technical Support Manager Amit Kheradia discusses coloring coding, its fit with FSMA’s required Food Safety Plan, and its overall importance in food and beverage processing facilities.

1. Why is color coding important in food facilities?

Color coding acts as a visual cue, helping employees identify and use the appropriate tools during production or equipment cleaning activities. A simple, consistent, easily communicable color-coding program:

  • Improves food-safety culture among employees by clearly defining where tools are used.
  • Avoids cross contact of tools, like scoops, used for handling different allergens.
  • Enhances traceability of tools since they are easily identified by their distinguishable color.
  • Promotes workplace standardization — the ability to track and store tools is greatly improved.
2. How does color-coded equipment assist in zone cleaning and sanitation programs?

Color coding can be implemented to complement and support sanitary zones in food facilities. These zones segregate risk and prevent direct contamination from personnel, cross contamination, and allergen cross contact. For example, red cleaning tools may be allocated to a raw meat zone; blue tools assigned to the RTE area; and black tools assigned to cleaning drains. If a red raw tool appears in a blue RTE zone, it will be immediately visible to all workers, thus reinforcing the zones.

3. How does this fit into my Food Safety Plan required by FSMA?

A Food Safety Plan is part of the prevention-based system that addresses the identified and/or potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards through appropriate control strategies that prevent, eliminate, or significantly minimize food safety hazards along the supply chain — from raw material procurement and handling to finished product storage and distribution.

Color coding is a prevention strategy, and is an essential feature in, at least, the sanitation and allergen management controls, commonly found in the plan.

4. Why does Remco talk about hygienic design when discussing its products?

Hygienic design is important because tools can become vectors for cross contact and cross contamination. Several characteristics are essential in hygienically designed tools.

The tools should (1) be free of crevices and contamination traps; (2) have a smooth surface finish; (3) be easy to clean and dry; (4) be made from food-safe materials; (5) be well constructed; (6) be non-absorbent; (7) be appropriately temperature and chemical resistant; and (8) have no hollow or flagged fibers.

5. How is Remco different?

Remco provides exceptional material handling and cleaning tools that are widely used in food and beverage manufacturing sanitation programs. Virtually every tool that Remco provides is designed for food manufacturing and built with durability in mind. The tools we sell are made from FDA-compliant materials, and we offer comprehensive documentation that end users can provide to auditors and inspectors.