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.