|Re: cutting boards||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Berrins (Berrinsaol.com)|
|Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 22:39:34 -0700 (MST)|
The only study (reported in the "Nutrition Action" newsletter a few years ago) I know of that directly compared wood vs. plastic cutting boards had them, when kept clean, essentially similar in germ harboring ability. Cutting boards are like culinary "door knobs"; door knobs pass on germs from one snotty hand to the next hand grabbing it. Cutting boards pass on germs from one food to the next. There are two main keys to minimizing this: 1) Use a sanitizing level of cleaning- lots of hot, hot water and soap. Also, plastic can be run through the dishwasher, wood can be bleached. This should be done regularly, and definitely immediately after having any raw meat or eggs (including batters with raw eggs, like when kneading bread with eggs in it) on a board. Also, wash those knives, hands, bowls, counters, anything that had any contact with raw foods. Even vegies from the garden can have bad germs on 'em; wash the vegies thoroughly before putting on the cutting boards; 2) Throw out cutting boards when they get deeply scratched or get lots of scratches. It's the grooves that are hard to clean and collect the wee little beasties. Wood, I suppose, has a bit of an advantage there, because you can either toss it into the fireplace or sand it down and get a new surface. All this may sound a bit paranoid, but the super bugs out there created by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in livestock, as well as the poor sanitizing track record of many meat-processing plants (chicken ones are notoriously bad) and some vegetable packing plants, make keeping things clean even more necessary than just a few years ago. While most people will survive food poisoning, many do not, especially the young, old, and immune suppressed. Cooking for the public demands you keep it clean. And now that you've got me started on the subject, I'll probably have our kitchen committee (I'm on it) hold some workshops on sanitation and put up some posters. In the meantime, happy eating! -Roger Pathways Northampton, MA, USA
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