Cutting Boards are the perfect home for microorganisms, says Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. 60201. Whether you use wood or plastic, cleaning cutting surfaces is especially important for health reasons.
After each use, scrub the board vigorously with a scrubber or brush and soapy water. The friction ruptures the cells of microorganisms, and the detergent helps lift and remove the debris that may harbor pathogens. Rinse and air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels. After each time you use a cutting surface to shop chicken, beef, fish, or any other meat or fish, sanitize it by flooding the surface for a minute with a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach per quart of water. Rinse it well immediately afterward and dry. These steps are especially critical if you're going to reuse the board for cutting other foods that aren't to be cooked. You want to remove any bacteria left by the perishable product. The bleach kills the pathogens that cause people to become ill- Salmonella, Listeria, E-coli, Staphylococcus. Don't store the chlorine solution for future use. Chlorine evaporates, so mix only enough for one application. Because of sanitizing ingredients in automatic dishwasher detergent, machine washing plastic cutting boards is a safe alternative. Wooden boards, however, warp in dishwashers.
With all the conflicting reports about bacteria growth, it's hard to know which kind of cutting board, wood or plastic is more sanitary and more healthy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition says they are sticking with plastic. Its experts found that while bacteria may die on the surface of wood, microorganisms become trapped in the deep cuts common on wooden cutting boards and are hard to remove by washing. On the other hand, they say, these harmful pathogens are easily washed off plastic. Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. 60201 says that whichever you choose, clean and sanitize it well, especially after cutting raw meat.