The cutting board is one of the most common kitchen tools that you can see in every household and restaurant. It makes chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing easier to perform. In every household, let us say at least one cutting board is used for every chopping work, and it is a usual scenario. Still, behind that is the danger of food contamination that can harm you and your family even if you clean it after use. Surprisingly, sometimes you forget or are not aware of this matter. Do not worry because there is always prevention. This article will help you to know more about how to store cutting boards properly.
Choice of Material for Cutting Board
Cutting boards are usually the main source of food contamination since they always come in contact with raw food, especially fruits, meats, and vegetables, so you should know how to store the cutting board properly. Even if you clean it properly, you cannot avoid germs and pathogens from transferring from the food to your cutting board. One factor that you need to consider in choosing a cutting board is the choice of material. There are two common materials used for cutting boards; plastic and wood.
It was evident that wood was the first material used for cutting boards, and as time passed by, the discovery of plastic as material took its place. Plastic is the easiest to clean and sanitize among the two materials, while wood can be tougher to clean because of its weight and rough surface. But regardless of the cutting board’s materials, you should know how to store cutting board properly to avoid bacterial growth and prolong the life of your boards.
Which Material is Safer to Use?
An honest answer is that no material can assure the safety and prevention of getting food contamination. It is easier for some to clean a plastic cutting board, but a knife can also scratch its surface easily, making more space for pathogens to sit in. Wooden cutting boards may be a tougher material, and a knife cannot easily scratch it, but pathogens can still remain on its surface. One of the best practices that you can do to prevent the transmission of food-borne disease is to clean the raw food before using the cutting board and after using it. You should wash the raw food before cooking once you are done with the chopping and slicing process. Food-borne diseases can also be prevented when you know how to store cutting boards properly.
How To Clean The Cutting Board?
The plastic and wood cutting boards have different characteristics, and you must handle them differently. If you have a dishwasher at home, remember that plastic cutting boards can withstand the pressure of the dishwasher, while it can destroy the quality of your wooden cutting boards. Here are the quick and easy steps on how to clean your cutting board.
Steps on How to Clean the Cutting Board?
Here are the steps on how to clean a plastic and wooden cutting board:
Step 1 – Rinse off the food remnants on the surface of your cutting board. Make sure that you use clean water to rinse it off.
Step 2 – Gently scrub your cutting board using soap and water. Make sure to clean the open spaces in your cutting board to wash off dirt and bacteria.
Step 3 – Sanitize your cutting board using a correct sanitizer made for wooden boards and plastic boards.
Step 4 – Dry and store it properly.
Take note that when cleaning a plastic cutting board, you will need to use a chlorine-based cleaner like bleach, while for the wooden cutting board, you can use ammonium sanitizer such as Mr. Clean. Also, you need to wash and clean your sponge regularly before and after use because it can also be a source of food contamination.
How to Store the Cutting Board After Use
After drying your cutting board, gently put it in your dish rack or plate organizer. Make sure that it is completely dry. You can also perform dry sanitation, such as using heat to wash off dirt and germs thoroughly. It is also your choice to store it in a dish rack, hang it, or stack it with another cutting board. If you will pile it, make sure to put tissue or kitchen towel between each cutting board. Observe your cutting board if it still looks clean or if you need to replace it with a new one. These simple steps are the steps on how to store cutting boards properly.
When Should You Replace Your Cutting Board?
Sometimes, we forget to pay attention to when to replace some of our kitchen tools. You must check all your kitchen tools to know if it is still safe to use. For the cutting board, if you see any discoloration and scratches, it is time that you need to replace it with a new one. Even if you clean it properly, there are also cases of bacteria and pathogens that still remain on your cutting board. Do not hesitate to change your cutting board even if you think it is still in good condition. Do not risk your and your family’s health.
Do you know that there is color coding in cutting boards? Here are some of the common colors of the cutting board and their uses:
- Red Chopping Board – used for raw meats and poultry
- Yellow Chopping Board – used for cooked meat
- Blue Chopping Board – used for raw fish and shellfish
- White Chopping Board – used for dairy products and bread
- Green Chopping Board – used for washed fruits and vegetable salad
- Brown Chopping Board – used for unwashed root crops
Maintaining the cleanliness of your kitchen tool may sound simple and easy, but once you forget to check its quality, you might risk your and your family’s health. I hope that this article will help you on how to store cutting boards properly. You can always use this as your reference. Always promote food safety!