Why are Certain Food-Grade Plastics Blue?
The colour blue was not chosen at random, but is in fact quite intentional. That’s because blue foods are extremely rare in the food industry, from production to processing to packaging. Accordingly, the blue colour makes it possible to achieve a higher contrast with foods on the production line, which minimizes risks. Therefore, blue provides the greatest contrast with foods, because very few foods are blue. In the food industry, this colour offers a number of advantages:
- Makes it easier to notice when a food-grade plastic part or fragment makes its way onto the production line;
- Easily creates a high contrast with food;
- Is compliant with European regulations that ensure the safety of food-grade plastics.
White Food-Grade Plastics
Not all food-grade plastics are blue. Namely, we might think of Sanalite® cutting boards, which are available in a wide variety of colours. In addition, most food-grade plastics available in North America are white. White plastics that meet food safety standards must also respect the standards that govern food-grade materials in Canada and the United States.
Going a Step Further Towards Standardizing Food-Grade Plastics
Even though blue is recognized as a colour that indicates that a plastic is safe for the food industry (FOOD GRADE), we might consider standardizing the colours of food-grade materials according to what they will be used for. So what do we mean by standardization? Well, food-grade plastic colours should reflect the type of food or ingredients they will ultimately be in contact with. As mentioned above, SANALITE® is the best plastic for this application because it meets all food safety standard requirements. In other words, SANALITE® board colours are tailored to their intended use:
- Red for beef and other red meats;
- Green for fruits and vegetables;
- Yellow for chicken and fowl;
- Blue for fish and seafood;
- White for dairy products.
Even though certain food-processing sectors already have their own colour codes, such codes should really be standardized and applied to all industries that use cutting boards, including restaurants, food production and processing plants, grocery stores, etc.
This practice would make it possible to assign a specific food category to each plastic in a clear and effective manner. Doing so would reduce the risks of cross-contamination by preventing different food categories from accidentally coming into contact with one another.