A Cutting Board & Your Kitchen

nina | March 29th, 2011 - 9:00 am

A cutting board is one of the most functional tools in a kitchen, but it could also be harboring a ton of bacteria.

If not properly cared for, your cutting board just may be the culprit of you making people ill – not your cooking.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year about 1 out of every 6 people – or 48 million – will get sick from some type of food-borne disease.  Many of these diseases can be prevented by simply cleaning your cutting board and avoiding cross-contamination of foods.

Whatever your preference, wooden, plastic or glass boards can be used for meat and poultry.  But the salad veggies should not be cut on the same board as raw chicken.  Consider using separate boards for meat, poultry, breads, veggies or seafood.  This will prevent cross-contamination to foods that do not need cooking.

Color coding your cutting boards is an outstanding idea to avoid cross-contamination.  Maybe use a red board for meats, and a green one for veggies.  Some plastic boards have pictures of a chicken or a vegetable to avoid confusion.

Wooden cutting boards have been king of the kitchen for centuries, used for chopping, displaying cheeses and presenting meals.  However, plastic and acrylic boards are not cutting-edge in the kitchen and preferred by chefs.  Not only are they more durable and dishwasher tough, but some will not retain bacteria.

Personal Preference.   It really comes down to an individual’s preference.  Traditional wooden boards are left in the dust.  Every cut on a wooden board leaves a gateway to bacteria growth.  To ensure those grooves aren’t inviting micro goop to linger, wooden boards need to be sanded down and treated with mineral oil.  Food-grade mineral oil can be soaked into the wood until it won’t absorb anymore.  Maintain your wooden boards when first purchased should be treated before hand with mineral oil, once a day for the first week, once a week for the 1st month and then once a month for a year.  Do not use vegetable or olive oil; it can turn rancid.

Source:  PoconoRecord.com 3/23/11

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