The Simple Trick Professional Chefs Use to Make Meal Prep Safer
When it comes to kitchen organization and efficiency, I love to model my processes at home after those I learned while working in professional restaurants. After all, an organized kitchen means a safer kitchen, and restaurant chefs are typically super strict about how they store both food and tools. Who better to look to for guidance? Keeping stringent storage and cleaning procedures is key to preventing cross contamination that can lead to foodborne illnesses.
That's why I take special care to protect the most vulnerable tools in my kitchen: my cutting boards. They're the catch-all for every ingredient that needs to be cut, from meat to fish to fresh vegetables—but if not cleaned and stored properly, they can also become a home for bacteria. That's why I've taken a tip from professional chefs and decided to start color-coding my cutting boards.
I know what you're thinking—and yes, it can be a little complicated and means more dishes for me. But it's easier than it sounds, and more importantly, it gives me peace of mind that I'm preparing food for my family as safely as possible. If you live with people who have allergies or specific dietary restrictions, color-coding your cutting boards is even more vital. Here's how I do it: I use a red board for raw meat, a yellow board for raw poultry, a green board for fresh produce, and a white board for dairy and bread. That way, I know exactly what was cut on each board, so raw meat never has the opportunity to touch raw lettuce, and someone with a fish allergy won't have to worry about eating a steak that was prepared on the same surface.
When searching for a set of color-coded cutting boards, you'll want to look for options made from non-porous materials. Surfaces like wood are easy to cut and chip, and any tiny holes or divots in the board can collect bits of food and breed bacteria. For added safety, select a board with some type of non-slip grip on the border.
If you've been looking for a foolproof method to make your food prep a little safer, try taking advice from restaurant chefs and color-coding your cutting boards. Amazon has tons of great sets that'll make it easy to incorporate this practice into your cooking routine, and we've rounded up a few of our favorites for you to consider. Keep reading to shop four of the best color-coded cutting board sets on Amazon.