Sanitising Chopping Boards
To practice a good level of hygiene in the kitchen, sanitise your chopping board every week, or more often if necessary. Here’s how:
- The most effective method for cleaning chopping boards is to soak them in a solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine-based bleach to a gallon of water.
- Leave for half an hour, then rinse thoroughly, and air-dry upright on a rack.
- Alternatively, use common household ingredients with anti-bacterial properties, like white vinegar, to wipe over the cutting surface before leaving to dry.
Tip: If you notice your chopping boards are starting to smell of onions or raw fish, dip a paper towel in pure lemon juice, or rub half a lemon over the surface and it will smell citrus-fresh in no time!
Preventing Food Contamination
No one wants an upset tummy from contaminated food. Follow this advice to avoid potential problems:
- Buy hard acrylic or rubber boards, as they are generally considered the most hygienic choice (these are commonly used in restaurant kitchens).
- Wooden boards should be kept as clean and as sanitised as possible.
- Consider using beeswax or mineral oil to treat the surface of wood cutting boards every few months, to help form a natural seal against food contamination.
- It’s safest to use different clean chopping boards for different types of food. You should have at least two: one for raw meat and fish and one for vegetables, bread, and anything that can be eaten safely uncooked.
- Purchase colour-coded sets of cutting boards, or label your boards yourself, so that you remember which board is which.
- Finally, throw away any chopping boards that are particularly cracked, scratched, or visibly dirty. Like all kitchen equipment, cutting boards have a shelf life and it’s vital that you get rid of old boards to maintain a safe, healthy kitchen.