Cutting Boards - Care and Cleaning
Were you aware that outbreaks of salmonellosis have been traced to cutting boards that are dirty and not cleaned for properly? Well neither was I until I came across an article that told of a sickness in a child caused by this very thing. Cross-contamination from dirty cutting boards is a common way to spread bacteria and causes many different types of illnesses.
I also learned that is is a good practice to have one cutting board for vegetables and bread and another one for raw meat and seafood. This will prevent the bacteria from contaminating the food that you will eat without cooking.
I did some research and I am now confident that my cutting boards will meet the standard of germ free (almost) adherence that I would like in my kitchen while cooking for my family and friends. Here are some of the tips that I have learned to help you meet your high standard of cleanliness.
Plastic Cutting Boards
Standard Plastic Cutting Board
Cleaning Plastic is Easy
- The best way to clean and disinfect a plastic cutting board is to place it in your dishwasher to be washed with the rest of your dishes. This method is the easiest.
- If no dishwasher is available use some plain old household bleach and water to clean. 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water in your sink and et the board stay in the liquid for one half hour, Dry and use.
- When your plastic cutting board gets deep gashes and cuts it is time to buy a replacement.
- Any time you see mold or mildew on a plastic cutting board it is time to buy a new one and keep in mind that knife-scared plastic boards are resistant to decontamination by hand washing.
Wooden Cutting Boards
Cleaning of Wooden Cutting Boards
Let me start this by saying that wooden cutting boards are the best in my book. Get the best one that your pocketbook will allow and take care of it properly and it will last for many, many years.
- Wooden cutting boards do not go into your dishwasher. Instead, use a small amount of liquid dish soap and hot water to wash your cutting board after each use. Let the board dry and it is ready to be used again.
- Mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide and use this mixture to disinfect your board.Dry with a clean cloth and you will have eliminated the bacteria that is on your board.
- Another method is to disinfect your board using white vinegar on a paper towel. this will get rid of any E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus.
- Rub you wooden cutting board periodically with mineral oil-apply the oil and let it soak in until your board will not take any more-wipe with a clean cloth and it is protected and ready to use.
- Bamboo cutting boards are harder and much less porous than other woods and more resistant to bacteria than other woods.
Basic Wooden Cutting Board
"The Meat and Poultry Hotline recommends that consumers use plastic or glass surfaces for cutting raw meat and poultry. However, wooden cutting boards used "exclusively" for raw meat and poultry are acceptable. Use a different board for cutting other foods such as produce and bread. This will prevent bacteria from a meat or poultry from contaminating another food."
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Which is in Your Kitchen?
What type of cutting board do you use?
Cleaning a cutting board
Rubbing your wooden cutting board with mineral oil will help to retain moisture in the wood.