Hygiene is very important in the kitchen. We all know this. But how much attention do we pay to...
Hygiene is very important in the kitchen. We all know this. But how much attention do we pay to kitchen hygiene ‘danger zones’ like chopping boards? Chopping boards used in food prep (also commonly called cutting boards) can be breeding grounds for bacteria if they are not cleaned properly after use.
The following provides a brief guide to the different kinds of food chopping boards you can get and what to consider re hygiene:
Types of kitchen chopping boards – plastic, bamboo and glass
Types of kitchen chopping boards:
- Wood cutting boards are still popular as heavy duty chopping boards. They look good (think ‘French Country Kitchen’), they are stable, and they don’t ‘leak’ juices off the edges, like glass cutting boards do. In general, chefs also prefer wooden cutting boards because they are the kindest on knives. However, they can retain food particulates and active pathogens if they are not scrubbed clean and dried thoroughly after each use.
- Bamboo cutting boards are less pricey than hardwood cutting boards. They are also less prone to collecting deep cuts and grooves over time. This can make them a more hygienic option – as long as care is given to cleaning and drying out the boards thoroughly after use to kill off bacteria and prevent fungal infestations in the bamboo grain. Clean with soap and water and disinfect regularly.
- Plastic or acrylic chopping boards. Light weight and easy to clean, plastic and acrylic cutting boards are ideal for meat, chicken, and fish ad they are dishwasher safe and easy to wipe down.
However, some hard plastic cutting boards quickly collect a network of fine cuts and grooves. These are ideal hiding places for bacteria.
- Glass chopping boards are noisy, blunt knives, and juices run off them on to counters. However, are very easy to clean and wipe between uses. They are also dishwasher safe.
Irrespective of the type of board being used: Use once for chopping each food type if there is a cross-contamination risk e.g. with raw chicken. Clean after each use – with boiling water for wood, or in the dishwasher.
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