Food Hygiene – The Importance of Using Different Chopping Boards For Different Foods


Food Hygiene – it’s a topic you probably have heard on televised cooking shows. There is a very good reason to understand the importance of using different chopping boards for different foods. There are some important differences in chopping boards as well, in the materials they are made from.

First, why use different chopping boards for different foods? This is a basic sanitation issue. Any time you cut with a blade, there can be tiny grooves left in the cutting boards. The grooves can harbor germs, and bacteria. It is very important to separate raw from cooked foods, in particular meats and poultry. You should also separate the meat from the poultry. This is accomplished by having several boards available and marked for each particular use.

By cutting raw meat on a board and later using the same board for working with cooked meat, the juices and any bacteria from the raw meat are transferred to the cooked meat, and can cause intestinal problems for the person who then eats that cooked meat. The same is true for raw vegetables. Of course, you would wash the vegetables to rid them of dirt and any contaminants, but with the groove situation and bacteria, you could also transfer the raw vegetable problems to your cooked food.

A far better solution is to purchase glass chopping board. If you have ever watched a certain popular cooking show chef, surely you would have heard him caution regarding the important of using different chopping boards. He mentions the ‘chicken police’ and ‘pork police’, and even has different colored cutting boards for each so they do not get mixed up. This is a great idea you can copy!

You can wash and disinfect chopping boards with soapy warm water, and a light diluted bleach solution. You can re-plane wood boards, and clean with coarse salt. Replace your board when needed. Do not put wood boards into dishwashers or soak them in water. A very light grade food quality mineral oil can be used on wood boards to help keep water out of the grooves.

Second, what about the materials chopping boards are made from? Common kitchen chopping boards are made from wood or plastic. Others are available, made from steel, glass, marble, or corian, but although these may be easier to clean than wood or plastic, they can damage your knife blade edges.

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