If you’re like me, you probably get confused with all of the information coming your way when it comes to food and food related items…whether it’s about recipes, health, or sustainability. But, the one thing that I am sometimes confused about is food safety. Being an instructor, I always err on the side of caution and tell people to be extra safe when it comes to their food handling. But, sometimes, I don’t always practice what I preach. Don’t get me wrong…I would never buy milk and leave it in a hot car for hours before drinking it, but when it comes to other things, I’m not always sure where the parameters lie (my grandmother told me she used to keep eggs from the chicken under her bed when there were too many!).
The one thing I do know, however, is about contamination between meats and raw fruits and vegetables. There is so much information on what type of board to use (plastic or wood) and how to clean them in between uses (I hate using chemical cleaners on stuff you use food on), that it can get confusing.
So I decided to buy 2 cutting boards and keep them separate. I found these at Ikea and they were cheap compared to others that I have seen but I believe they’ve been discontinued. I have one for fruits and veggies so when I cut things for a platter, I don’t have to panic about what was on the board before and if it was properly cleaned (I have adult kids so you never know!).
I’ve searched around for some replacements and I found these extra large bamboo cutting boards! They are a great value and, since they come in a two pack, they are perfect for this.
I have another for chicken meat and fish. They are really big so sometimes, I even bring them right to the table with stuff on it (like when I make pizza and I use the board to cut them). Then, I clean them and store them until I use them again (but they are often on my counter top all the time since I use them everyday)
Caring for your cutting boards: What you’ll need:
- hot water
- oil (neutral)
And to clean them, I have a spray bottle full of white vinegar (bottle is from the dollar store) and I use that to clean my veggie board after each use…just a damp cloth is fine but what the heck?
For my meat board, I use a scraper (you can even use a spatula) after I finish cutting to make sure I get rid of all the bits of meat left behind. Then I spray with vinegar and wipe it down. Then I put a spoonful of coarse salt on the board and scrub with a half lemon, squeezing the juice until the salt melts away and gets rid of all the bacteria. You don’t have to do the lemon/salt step every time but it’s good to do it once a week (and especially after cutting chicken). As an added step, apply a neutral oil (I like mineral oil) and let it soak in!
So there you have it…sparkling cutting boards. Now, let’s cook something!!