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How color coded cleaning can minimize the risk of cross contamination

How color coded cleaning can minimize the risk of cross contamination

Did you know? Your cleaning and sanitizing towels may cause the cross-contamination of harmful bacteria if they are used across multiple areas of your restaurant.

How color coded cleaning can minimize the risk of cross contamination

The CDC defines cross contamination as “the spread of germs from one surface or food to another by contact.”[1]

It is important to ensure foodservice establishments implement proper cleaning and sanitization protocols in order to prevent the transition of foodborne illnesses. Employees should be properly trained to recognize and perform the establishment’s protocols, but must also be provided with the right tools to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. With careful consideration for sanitization, restaurants can promote the health and well-being of employees and customers alike.

The Problem

Raw or undercooked foods often carry harmful bacteria, which can easily infect individuals who come into contact with it directly or indirectly. Preparing certain types of food in separate areas of the kitchen can help reduce the risk of direct contamination, but cleaning and disinfecting practices can still carry bacteria from one station to another if the same tools are used throughout various areas of the restaurant.

To take additional steps to ensure safety, cleaning protocols should separate various back- and front-of-house tasks to ensure bacteria from the kitchen is not carried to patrons in dining areas and vice versa.[2] Restricting the usage of each towel to a particular task allows employees to carefully monitor cross-contamination prevention measures, but this can be difficult to enforce if all of the towels look the same.

The Solution

Color-coded cleaning systems allow you to keep track of where each towel belongs. Assigning each zone of your restaurant a particular color towel helps employees quickly and effectively visually monitor where each towel has been used. Separate towels should be used for front-of-house, back-of-house, and restroom cleaning applications. Restaurants using towels of various colors help reduce the risk of unknowingly cross-contaminating through their cleaning procedures.

Chicopee offers both sanitizer compatible and general cleaning towels in a variety of unique colors. Available in white, red, blue, yellow, green, and other color combinations, Chix® towels give you many options to best meet your establishment’s needs.

The Result

This floorplan is an example of how Chix® towels can be implemented into a color-coded cleaning system for foodservice establishments. With multiple color combinations possible, you can establish zones and their assigned color however you like.

Color Code chart

The adoption of a color-coded cleaning system creates additional protections against the harmful threat of cross-contamination. Managing and training for safe sanitization practices can be a difficult task, but visually monitoring the towel usage can make this crucial job easier and more understandable for employees.[3] By implementing the organized use of towels by color, efficient product usage goes up, production costs go down, and your patrons enjoy the cleanest environment possible.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ehsnet/plain_language/how-restaurants-prepare-chicken.htm

[2] https://www.restaurant.org/articles/operations/clean-isn%E2%80%99t-enough-avoid-cross-contamination

[3] https://www.cleanlink.com/cp/article/Training-Employees-To-Use-Color-Coded-Equipment–7480

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