Why Use Color Coded Knives?


Color coded knives are designed to help you implement food safety best practices in the kitchen! With different color handles for different types of food, this system helps teach employees to engage in safe food handling practices to prevent cross-contamination in the professional kitchen. Allergies have become such a norm in society today, which makes paying attention to these color coded handles in a kitchen (especially in a restaurant) more important than ever.

Here are CCI’s suggestions for what each color should be used for:


“Traditional Black”

This series is often selected for Culinary Program Kits as it is a durable learning and working tool. The black handle is a generic handle commonly used for every day cutting tasks.


“Dairy White”

This series is commonly used for working with a variety of baking and dairy products, from butter, to hard and soft cheeses. This knife handle is commonly selected to be used in Baking and Pastry Program Kits.


“Yellow Bird”

This series is often used when working with poultry.


“Red Raw”

This series is most commonly used when working with raw meats.


“Fresh Green”

This series is commonly used for cutting fruits and vegetables. Although the majority of fruit and vegetables are very low risk when handled in their raw state, it is important that they have their own dedicated equipment to avoid the risk of cross-contamination with a knife that may have been used to prepare raw meat.


“Blue Flame”

CCI’s suggestion is that the Blue Flame series be used when you are working with any form of cooked meat. However, it is also commonly used for seafood products.


“Ocean Tan”

This series was developed to skin, fillet, debone and portion an endless variety of fish, both raw and cooked.

At the end of the day, these different color handles were designed so that you are able to implement food safety best practices in the kitchen. These are only our suggestions as to what the colors can represent. As long as it is clearly identified to those working in the kitchen, there’s really no specific rule as to what each color is used for!

What do you like to use each color for? 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Tools for The Discriminating Chef and commented:

    Food Safety month is just around the corner! Septemeber, schools across North America will be opening its doors to students again. There is not a better time to go over some important food safety facts including a good way to prevent cross contamination! Color Coded Handles. Enjoy this blast from the past!


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