When it comes to food preparation, it’s not just your hands that need proper cleaning before and after. It is also essential for other kitchen utensils to be well-cleaned to prevent cross-contamination. For example, a cutting board is one of the most used utensils that come into contact with your food as you prepare.
Keeping your cutting boards in their cleanest form is the best way to prevent cross-contamination within your food. That is why it’s always important to know the answer to “what should you do to prevent cross-contamination when using cutting boards? If you still don’t know how to prevent cross contamination, read down below for more valuable information.
What is Cross-contamination?
How To Prevent Cutting Board Cross-contamination
If you always want to maintain your cutting-boards as clean as they should to avoid bacteria buildup, you must also need to keep all your kitchen utensils, hands, sponge, and countertop clean as well. So, what should you do to prevent cross-contamination when using cutting boards? Continue reading to find out.
- Before you deal with cutting boards, it is important to keep your hands washed and clean. In doing so, wash hands with lukewarm water and soap right before and after meal preparation. If you come to pick up your pet or use the bathroom, your hands need to be rewashed.
- Clean your countertop where the cutting board rests. You have to do this is because you will find the cutting board lying around your counter most of the time. So, cleaning your counter is one optimal way not only to prevent bacteria from seeping into your boards but also to keep the entire kitchen environment clean as well.
- According to various sources, cleaning the cutting boards with hydrogen peroxide or vinegar is an eco-friendly approach to do the cleaning. Also, when preparing for food, avoid placing other non-related food items such as bags, backpacks, purses, and many more on the table or counter.
- It is well-documented that sponges have one of the highest bacteria concentrations in a kitchen environment. Ensure that you clean your sponge well by submerging it in boiling water or placing it inside the microwave to kill bacteria buildup.
- Before you proceed to your next food prep, clean the cutting board now and then. Clean with soapy water and air dry.
- One of the easiest ways to clean cutting boards is by using a fresh solution of 1 part chlorine bleach or around 1tbsp and a gallon of water. Rinse the entire surface of the cutting board for around 3 to 5 minutes to ensure no bacteria buildup.
Be very careful around cutting boards. Whenever raw juices of meats touch the surface of a cutting board or come into contact with ready-to-serve foods, this is the part where cross-contamination occurs. If done improperly, the board becomes a good breeding ground for bacteria. So if you want to eat clean and healthy food, start by having a proper and sanitary food preparation. You should know the answer to, “what should you do to prevent cross-contamination when using cutting boards?”
Important Things To Remember to Prevent Cross-contamination
Aside from cleaning cutting boards, there are several things you must do to prevent cross-contamination. Here are some other important reminders for you to know what should you do to prevent cross-contamination when using cutting boards.
- Whenever you go shopping, separate fresh meats, eggs, and seafood from the rest of the groceries. Secure a separate plastic bag for them to prevent their juices from coming into contact with other products.
- Place raw meat, seafood, and poultry in separate containers in the fridge. Raw juice contains some of these nasty bacteria.
- Wash your hands using antibacterial soap and warm water as often as you should. The cleaner your hands are to deal with utensils, the less likely chance of getting cross-contamination.
- Wash counters, kitchen utensils, cutting boards after every use, or wash them before proceeding to the next step of your food preparation.
- If possible, always have a separate cutting board for raw products and fresh products.
- Cutting boards that are already worn out are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. If you happen to have one, replace them immediately.
- When cutting fresh fruits and vegetables, run them first on flowing tap water to remove particles such as grime and dirt. This is to prevent your fruits or veggie’s flesh from contacting bacteria and being transferred onto the cutting board.
- When cooked food is ready to serve, don’t place it again on the plate where you prepared it or the cutting board where you previously placed raw products such as meat and poultry.
- Ensure that your knife is cleaned properly, as bacteria tend to grow well on cut surfaces of fruits and veggies and can be potentially transferred from one fruit to the other.
Furthermore, to prevent cross-contamination on fruits and veggies, don’t leave them unattended for a couple of hours at room temperature, as they spoil easily. If you don’t have any use for them, place them in the fridge.
How To Clean Cutting Board to Prevent Cross-contamination?
A cutting board needs to be washed and cleaned thoroughly. This is to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying over time. In some cases wherein cutting boards are dishwasher-friendly, you can just simply wash it the basic way.
However, the best way to clean wooden cutting boards is by using the steps mentioned above or simply washing with soap and clean water.
There are also other home remedies in which you can clean cutting boards efficiently. Using lemon, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide combined with salt, are some of the effective ways to do it. The USDA also recommends using separate cutting boards for various varieties such as produce, fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Cross-contamination is one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses. That’s why you need to know the answer to “what should you do to prevent cross-contamination using cutting boards?” A cutting board will always be one of the basic kitchen utensils that are constantly used for various food preparation.
That’s why keeping it clean and wash all the time goes a long way in preventing these harmful bacteria from causing sickness. Hopefully, this article helped you in preventing cross-contamination when you use cutting boards.