Cutting Back on the Cutting Board Germs

Fall 2001 CSANews Issue 40  |  Posted date : Apr 01, 2007.Back to list

ROCHESTER, MINN. ­ A few common-sense, cutting-board rules can reduce the risk of contaminating the foods you prepare and eat, according to the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Health letter.
  • Be sure cutting boards have a smooth, hard surface. Bacteria can get into cracks.
  • Clean and disinfect cutting boards after each use, especially after cutting meat, fish or raw seafood. Most plastic cutting boards can be placed in the dishwasher, which will clean and sanitize them if the water reaches sufficient temperatures. To clean by hand, use soap and water and scrub vigorously. Sanitize by scrubbing with a solution of two teaspoons of liquid chlorine bleach to one quart of water. Rinse in clean water.
  • Allow cutting boards to air dry to avoid contamination by a towel.
  • Use two different cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination; one for raw meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables you will cook. The other should be used only for cutting ready-to-eat foods that are normally low in bacteria, such as bread, cheese and fresh produce.
It's also important to be aware of food allergies. Thorough cleaning of cutting boards reduces the chance of spreading allergenic properties of one food to another.