What is the proper way to disinfect a cutting board?

What is the proper way to disinfect a cutting board featured

Understanding the Importance of Proper Cutting Board Disinfection

As you prepare your meals, you probably do not put much thought into the cutting board you use. However, cutting boards can harbor bacteria that can make you sick. Therefore, it is important to disinfect them properly.

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: What is the Difference?

Before disinfecting your cutting board, it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Cleaning removes food particles and debris that can create a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfecting, on the other hand, kills bacteria and other microbes on the surface of the cutting board. So, while cleaning is necessary, it is not enough to sufficiently eliminate harmful bacteria.

The Proper Way to Disinfect a Cutting Board

There are several methods for disinfecting cutting boards, but not all of them are equally efficient or safe. To effectively disinfect a cutting board, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water, and rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  2. Mix a solution of one tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
  3. Saturate the cutting board with the solution and let stand for several minutes.
  4. Rinse the cutting board thoroughly with hot water and dry with a clean cloth.
  5. For wooden cutting boards, oil with a food-grade mineral oil after cleaning and disinfecting to preserve the wood.

Alternative Cutting Board Disinfection Methods

If you do not have liquid chlorine bleach on hand, there are other ways to disinfect your cutting board:

  • Hydrogen peroxide: apply hydrogen peroxide to the cutting board and let sit for several minutes before rinsing with hot water.
  • Vinegar: apply white vinegar to the cutting board and let soak for several minutes before rinsing with hot water.
  • Dishwasher: if your cutting board is dishwasher-safe, place it in the dishwasher on the hottest setting.

Preventing Cross-Contamination on Cutting Boards

Proper disinfection is only one part of protecting yourself from harmful bacteria. To prevent cross-contamination, designate one cutting board for raw meat and another for produce. Use a third cutting board for cooked foods. Additionally, wash your cutting board with hot, soapy water after each use and disinfect at least once a week.

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