close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

On cutting boards and cross contamination

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by lwt210, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. lwt210

    lwt210

    Messages:
    1,933
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    I got an end grain hardwood cutting board for Christmas and am about halfway through the seasoning process with mineral oil. A couple of more coats and it should be good to go.

    Now, should I get a seperate board for meat and poultry or can one just "flip" a board and use one side for meat and one side for produce and breads? I could mark which side is which so that there is no confusion in the future. Board is about two inches thick of what appears to be rock maple.

    And from what I gather, a vinegar solution is the prefered way to clean a wooden cutting board to get the most micro organisms to die off.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. nickg

    nickg

    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    i don't use any special board for meat or poultry, but i DO make sure it is always properly cleaned as i go from one item to another.

    it's a pain in the butt to keep cleaning, but better safe than sorry.
     

  3. noway

    noway

    Messages:
    8,735
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Location:
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    Just wash in very "hot" soapy water with some good soap and be on your way.

    btw, I never heard of this mineral oil prepartion. Most wooden boards that I've used had some had varnish/lacquer coating on them. Not sure mineral oil would have done anything.
     
  4. lwt210

    lwt210

    Messages:
    1,933
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yeah, if it were just me, I would probably use one board for everything but the wife is a stickler for cleanliness in the kitchen.

    Plus, I read that it is best to have a seperate board for meat and poultry as one cannot get all of the microbes. But the same article said that most bacteria die off after about three minutes on a wooden board due to the porous surface of wood fibers not allowing moisture to facilitate growth. Or something to that effect.

    Anyway, I was figuring if I seasoned both sides of the board I could just flip it and use one side for meat and one side for breads and produce. Wouldn't this work?
     
  5. lwt210

    lwt210

    Messages:
    1,933
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    It provides a way to season the wood to prevent things from penetrating too far into the fibers. Some use olive oil but that can become rancid. Mineral oil, heated in the microwave for a few minutes, and then rubbed into the wood offers protection against moisture and prevents warping during washing.

    Years ago, when I had my woodworking shop, I made a butcher block island top for a lady out of hard maple stock. Once it was planed down and the steel rods inserted, I used mineral oil to season it. That was in 1993 and I checked with her while on vacation and it is still going strong. She had to resurface it with a sander and re-season it but it still looks great and resisted warping.

    The initial seasoning takes about four coats and then a re-coat about once a month depending on usage.

    The article that I was refering to is at www.whatscookingamerica.net/CuttingBoards/AllAbout.htm

    There is also a link to a research study on cleaning methods and ways to decontaminate them.
     
  6. SouthernGal

    SouthernGal What's Up Dox?

    Messages:
    6,801
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW MS
    I have a wooden cutting board AND a plastic looking one. I've been using some clorox and hot water on the plastic one to clean it. I wasn't sure what it would do to the wooden one.
     
  7. Weaps

    Weaps Drives A Jeep

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2000
    Location:
    Downingtown, PA, USA
    I have one large cutting board I use for veggies/non meat and one smaller cutting board exclusively for meat. Never the two shall cross paths. Both are wood. Of course, I also use two different knives - a chefs knife for the non meats and a cleaver for meats.

    However if I'm going to be processing a lot of meat from different animals (we buy chicken and beef in bulk type quantities from a Costco like store) I'll use these flexible plastic dealies. They come in a pack of four for about $2.99 at Linens and Things and each one is marked for different foods: Meat poultry fish vegetables. They are cheap enough to be almost disposable and are handy for funneling chopped stuff into the container you'll be cooking/mixing/storing it.
     
  8. lwt210

    lwt210

    Messages:
    1,933
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    Alabama
    I found some new cutting boards at a store called Ross on the cheap.

    Got another one exclusively for meats and a smaller one for cheese and stuff.

    Less than 20.00 bucks for both. Now I have three and they are seasoned and ready to go.
     
  9. chiefb

    chiefb

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    IA
    Had a FD Meeting awhile back before a fund raiser, had the county "Food" lady come down to touch on food saftey. A very mild bleach solution is what she recommended for anything you need to clean. If I remember right it was like 1 Tbs per gallon of water, but that's from memory, so you might check with you local extension office for sure.
     
  10. chiefb

    chiefb

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    IA
    Could have edited, but oh well.

    This may sound like BS, but wood cutting boards supposedly have acids in them naturaly that help keep the nasties away. Makes sense, since they didn't use plastic boards 100 years ago. LOL!!
     
  11. Nicky D

    Nicky D CLM

    Messages:
    2,431
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    Souderton, Pa.
    I believe in having a few boards. I have a few plastic and a few wood that get coated with mineral oil to prevent cracking. I have found many days where it was beneficial to have more than one board. If my wife and I are in the kitchen cooking together, we can workon separate items at the same time. I also have different sizes for obviously different needs. A really large one is great fro serving steaks right off of the grill;f
     
  12. MB-G26

    MB-G26 Non-existent STUPID GURL Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    7,734
    Likes Received:
    1,692
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Location:
    Missing Sharon
    almost to a tin foil hat level.
    I use several different boards while making stuff, including those flexible plastic things that are more like a board cover than an actual cutting surface. I never cut a second, or subsequent, item before spray bleaching (generic version of "Clorox Cleanup" spray) and rinsing, or just reaching for another cutting surface or board.

    I do the hot soapy water thing on my good wood board which sits on the counter all the time, but always before using at least spritz it with rubbing alcohol from a hand-pump sprayer, let that sit a few seconds, and then rinse w/running water. Periodically that one gets a spray bleach bath, too, but I just don't leave the bleach on long enough to damage the finish or wood surface.

    My mother made herself good and sick one time, years ago, during a jag of eating chicken livers (yuck). I KNEW in my gut she was gonna get sick - sure enough, argh..... she sat on the toilet in agony while I held the bucket for her. 'Never had 'em again, she didn't. Point being: salmonella is one awful thing to get.
    m
     
  13. sheglocker

    sheglocker

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    My parents had a restaurant for over 25 years, and this is how I was trained to clean a wood cutting board (which is the best thing to use for keeping your knives nice and sharp): Keep a solution in a 12-14 oz. spray bottle of 1 capful of bleach, the rest water. Never use soap and water on a wood cutting board, as this will cause it to warp and eventually come apart many years before it should. Simply spray the area and wipe clean with a paper towel. The conditioning oils are great for good wood cutting boards because it keeps them from drying out, another reason for premature splitting of the wood. ;)
     
  14. Remander

    Remander

    Messages:
    637
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Off topic slightly from wood boards:

    We buy thin, plastic cutting boards that are cheap and almost disposable, but can handle several rounds in the dishwasher. I think my wife gets them at the grocery store.

    If I use one for meat/chicken/fish, I toss it in the washer and whip out a fresh one for veggies, etc.

    After several washes, the hot water will make it curl. I toss it in the garbage and pull a new one.
     
  15. VictorLouis

    VictorLouis

    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2001
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I do all vegetable and other prep before the meat item(s). Then, wash with hot soap and water, then dry. On rare occasion where the meat item must be done first, due to cooking time or whatever, the mylar sheets that have been referred to are excellent. I get them at the dollar-store, and put them on top of my regular board so that the knife doesn't stray over the edge onto the counter-top.