There is still some dispute over the use of wooden versus plastic cutting boards. The bottom line though, is that if you thoroughly scrub with soap and hot water after each use, either type is safe. Plastic cutting boards may be cleaned in the dishwasher. Wooden cutting boards can be brushed/scraped salt after washing as added precaution. Plastic cutting boards should be bleached with a very strong bleach solution to prevent black mold.
CUTTING BOARD SAFETY.
Never allow raw meat, poultry and fish to come in contact with other foods. Improper washing, such as with a damp cloth, will not remove bacteria. And washing only with soap and water may not do the job, either.
To prevent cross-contamination from a cutting board, the FDA advises consumers to follow these practices:
- Use smooth cutting boards made of hard maple or a non-porous material such as plastic and free of cracks and crevices. These kinds of boards can be cleaned easily. Avoid boards made of soft, porous materials.
- Wash cutting boards with hot water, soap, and a scrub brush to remove food particles. Then sanitize the boards by putting them through the automatic dishwasher or rinsing them in a solution of 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of chlorine bleach in 1 quart (about 1 liter) of water.
- Always wash and sanitize cutting boards after using them for raw foods and before using them for ready-to-eat foods. Consider using one cutting board only for foods that will be cooked, such as raw fish, and another only for ready-to-eat foods, such as bread, fresh fruit, and cooked fish. Disposable cutting boards are a newer option, and can be found in grocery and discount chain stores.
(Compiled from the FDA Consumer - latest revision, July 2002)
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