Why You Need to Sanitize Cutting Boards
If you are preparing food in the kitchen, knowing how to sanitize cutting boards is imperative. It can help prevent cross-contamination and food-borne illness. Yes, you can get food poisoning in your own kitchen. Being proactive and keeping your workspace and utensils clean and sanitized is more important than you know.
Any item that comes in contact with your food has the ability to be a source of contamination and foodborne illness and cutting boards are no exception. For instance, if you cut up something like raw chicken on a cutting board and then you use that same cutting board to cut up an onion; this is called cross-contamination. What happens with cross-contamination in this instance is that the bacteria from the chicken will transfer over to the onion.
If you use cutting boards for serving trays, don’t use those for cutting or chopping foods. Keep your serving trays clean and cut free for best use.
When You Should Sanitize Cutting Boards
You should be finding a way to sanitize cutting boards between each use. If you only have one cutting board, always cut the fresh vegetables and cooked foods first. Then clean that board and finish up your cooking tasks by cutting the raw foods last.
How to Clean and Sanitize Cutting Boards
Using vinegar- Vinegar is a great disinfectant so it will work well on your cutting boards. Vinegar will not only clean the board but will disinfect it as well. After each use, wipe down the cutting board with full strength vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid which doubles as a disinfectant.
Using lemon– Most people know that lemon is a natural deodorizer but it can also clean and sanitize cutting boards. Just cut a whole lemon in half and sprinkle sea salt on one half. Then, softly rub the lemon half over the cutting board, rinse with warm water and allow to dry. I would only use this method on cutting boards that are not used for raw meat.
Using Clorox bleach– Clorox beach is a great product for sanitizing. To sanitize your cutting board, mix together two tablespoons of Clorox bleach with one gallon of water. Allow this solution to sit for about 2-3 minutes. You don’t have to rinse this solution off.
If you use wooden cutting boards you can extend the life of them with food grade oils
Using coconut oil– You can use coconut oil to extend the life of your cutting boards. The best choice here is unrefined coconut oil since it contains anti-bacterial properties. All you need to do is apply a small amount of coconut oil that is melted over the cutting board. Then, let the coconut oil set for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean cloth.
My wooden cutting boards are reserved for breads and serving. I don’t use those for raw or fresh foods.
What kind of Cutting Boards Should You Use?
My favorite cutting boards are plastic. Specifically BPA Free and eco-friendly. Slip-resistant feet and a handle also make the cutting boards easy to use.
To prevent cross-contamination you should have specific cutting boards for vegetables and separate cutting boards for raw meats. A lot of people use color-coded cutting boards. You can even buy specific sets in a variety of colors to help you out.
Fu Store Extra Thick Flexible Plastic Kitchen Cutting Board Mats Set, Set of 4 Colored Mats with Food Icons & Easy-Grip Handles, BPA-Free & FDA Approved, Non-PorousResort Chef Cutting Boards for Kitchen – Set of 4 w/Food Icons – BPA Free FDA Approved Materials Reversible & Eco Friendly. Best for Food Safety Has Microban Protection. Includes FREE Ceramic Knife!Extra Thick Flexible Plastic Kitchen Cutting Board Mats Set, Olivivi Colored Mats With Food Icons & Easy-Grip Handles, BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe, Set of 6