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Cleaning chopping boards

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  • Cleaning chopping boards


    What is the best method of cleaning a chopping board that has had raw meat or poultry on? Or is soap and hot water satisfactory?

    Many thanks.

  • #2
    Assuming you're talking about a wooden cutting board.

    Honestly, I would not even use it for meat. EVER! Wood absorbs. And unless you want to use chemicals on it, you can not be sure that you're getting all the muck left behind that can have severe consequences; Especially if you don't cook everything that touches it to DEATH

    However, DH is a pro chef. He says. You can clean it with bleach (me "yuck"). Or, you can do what people do with butcher blocks. They cover it with salt after soap and water. That supposedly kills everything.

    I happen to like fast clean up. Too much to do so...Consider going to target, buying some cheap little plastic numbers. They usually come in sets of 3. You can rinse and toss in the dishwaser (or just soap and water), and know that you're safe.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pezerinno View Post
      What is the best method of cleaning a chopping board that has had raw meat or poultry on? Or is soap and hot water satisfactory?
      Yes, but it's said but you shouldn't make it so damp that it doesn't dry quickly. I believe butchers use a rag dipped in very very hot water and wrung out so it's not too wet. I don't know whether washing-up liquid is strictly necessary, but if you do use it perhaps follow up with clean water to stop anything you cut up on it tasting soapy. I definitely wouldn't use anything stronger - not proprietary anti-germ products or anything like that. If you noticed an offensive smell you could probably use a little vinegar diluted in water or something like that.

      Standard advice is to have separate boards for different purposes.

      Boards made from the proper wood actually stay pretty germ-free. I heard an amusing story about an Italian chef who was visited by health inspectors acting on EU regulations (but in England). He was told to use coloured plastic boards instead of wooden ones, on the basis that these were believed to be more germ-free. Anyway, eventually the inspectors caught up with hundreds of years of culinary practice and discovered that wooden boards are actually better. They told the chef next time they visited that he could use his boards. He was so enraged he went and fetched a beautiful wooden chopping board from where it had been needlessly mothballed in a cupboard, seized his chopper, and smashed it to matchwood.


      • #4
        Sorry I should have been more specific; I actually use plastic chopping boards. I'm just a little anxious about having raw meat on them but if the dishwasher/washing liquid is sufficient then thats fine.


        • #5
          I use a bamboo cutting board, because it really doesn't absorb much in the way of juices and such.

          I really don't freak too much about germs from my raw meat; if I've cut meat on one side, I'll just flip it over for the salad veggies.
          Clean it immediately with hot water and soap; flip it on its side; let air dry. Oh, and while you're at it, it's good to clean the knife immediately, too.

          Nobody has ever gotten sick from food cooked in my kitchen


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pezerinno View Post
            Sorry I should have been more specific; I actually use plastic chopping boards. I'm just a little anxious about having raw meat on them but if the dishwasher/washing liquid is sufficient then thats fine.
            I wouldn't put them in a dishwasher. Squeezy liquid and water is fine. Just make sure the water's very hot. Antibacterials - much advertised on TV right now - are not needed and have drawbacks:



            • #7
              Okay thanks for the responses guys and girls.


              • #8
                One advantage to grass fed meat - much lower risk of e coli!


                • #9
                  The arguments surrounding plastic versus wood cutting boards constantly cycles through one being better than the other as far as sanitation goes. A good trade off is to have a cutting board dedicated to raw meat and poultry and one dedicated to everything else. That puts an end to cross-contamination issues at least.


                  • #10
                    I use plastic and put them through the dishwasher. No problem.


                    • #11
                      I tend to use my wooden (bamboo) chopping board for everything and after cutting raw meat, immediately wash in very hot soapy water and the knife used. I don't think I've given anyone food poisoning yet. If you have time it is also a good idea to put out in the sun to dry (if there is any in your part of the world). Don't put wood in the dishwasher, the drying cycle can crack the wood. Saying that I think it is actually a good idea to have separate boards for separate things as long as you can remember which is which.
                      Yes I remember hearing about that study that said that wooden chopping boards were safer due to something in the wood neutralising bugs or something?


                      • #12
                        I use wood blocks exclusively and wash them under hot water right after use. I have three different, one for meat, one for vegetables and one for bread (for my wife and kids). The are all made from pine wood.

                        Here are the rules I follow:

                        - Keep raw and prepared foods strictly separate. Do not use tools interchangeably.
                        - Never use the same cutting block for raw vegetables, raw meat and raw fish.
                        - Wash your hands often, especially if you move from one produce to another.
                        - Wash knives, utensils and boards often. Keep your kitchen counter clean with plain soap and water.
                        - Use the kitchen cloth less and paper roll more. If you do use cloth, switch to a clean cloth frequently. Also bleach it often. Cloth can be germ bombs.
                        - Make sure that hot food is really hot. Most bacteria die at 70-80 C. Food is to be kept warm before serving, should be steaming hot.
                        - Should hot food be stored for later, rapid cooling is important. Bacterial growth is greatest at the "warm" temperatures. To cool the food faster you can for instance put the pan in cold water.
                        - Never store food uncovered. Bacteria can also spread through the air.
                        - The refrigerator should be cold, at least 4C. Low temperature prevents or retards bacterial growth.
                        - Always thoroughly cook/fry ground meat and poultry products. Always sear beef on the outer surfaces.
                        Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

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                        • #13
                          Wow! This is something I have never paid much attention to in my own kitchen. When I worked in a restaurant it was a different story, but I fall under the "get a healthy dose of bacteria" philosophy. I rinse my hands, knives, and cutting board with hot water after cutting raw meat and of course with soap and hot water when cleaning up. But I also:

                          -Eat red meat "black and blue"
                          -Add raw eggs to protein shakes
                          -Let homemade soup slowly cool on the stove top
                          -Eat old leftovers unless it smells like it is going bad.

                          I have had one head cold in the last 4 years (after a stressful job change and a couple weeks of less sleep) and have never had food poisoning. In my mind excessive sanitation goes along with other CW. I guess it is just what you are comfortable with that matters. One of these days a piece of rare meat or a raw egg may catch up to me, but to me it is worth it.


                          • #14
                            I use plastic cutting boards. On a daily basis I wash them with hot soapy water. If I put raw poultry on them, or about weekly, i soak them in bleach water. I've had one for more than 20 years, no problem. They stay clean, and the bleach soak keeps them white and pretty.


                            • #15
                              Lewis, why not put the plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher?

                              I eat raw meat. (grassfed only!) The only meat that skeeves me out raw is poultry, and even then, I'm not too concerned. I wouldn't eat it, but it's not going to kill me. I rinse the boards in hot water & sometimes soap and put upside-down on the stovetop grates to drip dry. I follow almost none of the conventional food safety protocols (unless I'm cooking conventional meat) and we've never had any food poisoning.

                              There is a study I don't feel like googling that found that spraying a surface with vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide (or vice versa) was as effective as bleach in killing bacteria.
                              5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
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