Re: Health Food safety Cutting Boards Re: colored cuttingboards
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 04:45:47 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 17, 2013, at 5:01 PM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:

> a lot of this fussing over germicides or whatever seems directed at solving 
> problems that have never affected me, my family, my friends, or my dinner 
> guests.

I agree with this in general. Certainly I think wooden cutting boards are 
preferable to plastic anything and they have been used for hundreds, if not 
thousands, of years with no problems.

The place where I get uncomfortable is in the CH kitchen with various people, 
reliable and unreliable, washing dishes that touch the mouth. They may or may 
not use soap or even hot water. In a normal household, this is probably not a 
problem because everyone is breathing and eating the same germs anyway. But in 
a situation with 87 people sharing, I think it is different.

We have residents who travel extensively to Africa, Asia, and South America. 
When we had two people in chemo, one in 4th stage breast cancer, and two 
pregnant women, we had a resident flying back and forth from Asia when the bird 
flu was rampant. We have residents with stable but chronic illnesses like MS. 
We have people over 90 who are subject to infections that go rampant with no 
warning. Some may have compromised immune systems that we don't even know about.

Even when people don't travel, they all come into contact with a wider number 
of people and situations than the 2+ people one might live at home with. The 
international population in DC is very different from a city in Iowa. Our 
people go out everyday and breath and eat with a more diverse population. 
That's 87 times what I would be exposed to personally.

Our children are healthy and strong but they have various allergies. Shellfish 
and peanut allergies can be acute.

The dishes have to be washed with bleach in the water or sanitized in the 
dishwasher. We can't trust that people will use bleach and have stopped 
expecting it. 

It's the mouths that are the problem, not the dishes. Or the food.

Sharon Villines

Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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