Did You Know Your Chopping Board Has More Bacteria than a Toilet Seat?
40% of food poisoning is caused by poor hygiene in the home. Chopping boards are one of the most contaminated items, containing up to 200% more bacteria than your average toilet seat! Dr Lisa Ackerley, a food hygiene expert and representative of the Global Hygiene Council, advises that if you have raw chicken in your home, you will have Campylobacter bacteria too, which causes many food poisoning cases in NZ. Luckily, it’s a simple task to effectively clean your chopping board to avoid the risk of contracting food-borne illness.
How to Clean Your Chopping Board
While advice does differ depending on the type of material the board is made from, there is some generic advice. Clean your board frequently, between different ingredients. Rinse and wash with dishwashing liquid- don’t let the food particles dry and harden.
Stains can be removed using baking soda or salt as an abrasive. Simply rub a little on with some water to make a paste, and the stain will rub off. Once your board is clean, dry thoroughly. This is imperative to stop growth of bacteria. Drying the board in the sun also helps to kill bacteria too.
If your cutting board is starting to smell, rubbing a cut lemon on it will help to deodorize it, or use our lemongrass & lime dishwashing liquid.
How to Clean a Plastic Chopping Board
If you are concerned about microbes still remaining, use vinegar to spray the board and soak for a few minutes. The acid is a natural germ-killer. The easiest way to clean a plastic chopping board is by simply putting it through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle.
How to Clean a Wooden Chopping Board
Wooden chopping boards aren’t quite as easy to clean as plastic ones, but a little bit of TLC will ensure your board is clean and healthy to use. Unlike plastic boards, don’t put it in the dishwasher. The timber will absorb water, swell and cause cracking. The cracks are where germs congregate and will also cause your board to fall apart. Instead of the dishwasher, you can spray vinegar and let penetrate before washing off using hot water and dishwashing liquid.
Dry thoroughly, and then one a month, apply a food-safe oil such as linseed, or beeswax. This protects the timber and will keep your board looking good for longer.
Can You Make People Clean Up After Themselves At Work?
How many battles have been fought in the workplace kitchen? The colleague who simply dumps their plates in the sink and leaves them for someone else. The overgrown leftovers in the fridge that no-one has claimed. The missing teaspoons and knives that leave only a handful of forks to eat your soup with. The coffee cups left abandoned around the building. Invariably, it means that there are a few people that clean up after the rest, and a handful of passive aggressive notices Sellotaped to the wall of the kitchen.
Why Do Some People Not Clean Up at Work?
When most people wouldn’t do this at home, why do they leave a mess at work? It’s a psychological theory called diffusion of responsibility. This is when a person is less likely to clean their mess up because they can assume that someone else will clean it. And, in terms of a workplace, they are often correct. So how can you resolve it?
How Can You Ensure The Kitchen Is Left Clean?
Make a roster that allocates people to certain tasks over certain timeframes. Make sure that list includes the boss, so that it sets an example that everyone must contribute, especially leadership. This ensures that the kitchen is tidied daily and the dishwasher is started.
A Roster Can Have Unintended Side Effects
However, if you divide up kitchen duties among staff, it may have the unintended consequence of making them abandon tidiness at all other times and focus only on their role or their ‘day’. It becomes a firm ‘Not My Job’ and those cups will simply be left in the sink for Someone Else. So how can you avoid this?
Give permission for people to call others out for their laziness. If Dave leaves his plate in the sink, ask him to rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. If Terry leaves half-drunk cold cups of coffee lying around, make it the norm that people will ask him to clean it up.
Reward Good Behaviour
If the kitchen remains clean for a certain timeframe, you can offer a reward- maybe it’s time for a new coffee machine, or a set of new un-chipped mugs. Or, you can punish bad behaviour. One workplace had individual coffee cups made up, which meant that people who left their dirty cups lying around became very obvious and had no cup to drink out of!
Make a Difference By Adopting These Easy Ways to Stop Using One-Use Plastic
It’s no secret that the world and our oceans are awash with plastic waste. It’s destroying our marine and bird life, and humans are eradicating flora and fauna faster than we can re-plant it. The cost of the humble plastic bag is not just in the resulting waste which takes 1000 years to decompose, but also in the energy and materials to create it in the first place.
In NZ, supermarkets are banning use of plastic bags in an effort to reduce wastage. Following in the steps of cities like Delhi and Bangalore and a number of European countries, we are lagging behind the rest of the world in the need to reduce waste.
Take Ownership of Your Waste
High income countries create more waste than developing countries. In NZ, we produce 4.31 gha (global hectares) of rubbish per person per year. At this rate, we need 2.5 earths to sustain our existing demands. Comparatively, India’s rate is 0.9 gha per person.
We need to consume less, and recycle more. You can make a difference, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Every Bag Counts
Buy reusable bags. Store them in the car. Start your shopping list with ‘bags’ and once you’ve unpacked your groceries, hang the bags on your door handle so you remember to put them in the car again next time you leave. If you forget to take the bags into the supermarket, simply take the trolley or basket out to your car and fill the bags there. Easy! You’ve just saved plastic from the landfill.
Other Single-Use Plastic Items to Remove