MANY people chop their meat on their chopping board and then wash it in warm water and soap.
However, it turns out this method could lead to cross-contamination and food poisoning, as it doesn’t always remove all the bacteria.
Health experts claim you should bleach your chopping board after using meat, instead of just cleaning with soap and water[/caption]
According to Sharon Franke, director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, the soap cleaning technique doesn’t make the cut.
She said: “After you’ve used it to cut raw meat or poultry, always soak it in a bleach solution.”
It is advised that you use a fresh solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, and you should allow the board to soak before rinsing with clean water.
And it turns out that wooden chopping boards are far safer than plastic alternatives.
Experts say wooden chopping boards are safer than plastic ones[/caption]
US-based experts at Apartment Therapy found grooves made in plastic boards from knives trap bacteria.
However, bacteria was more likely to be absorbed by wooden boards and to disappear from the surface, dying over time.
The experts advised that plastic chopping boards should be put in the dishwater to ensure bacteria is removed.
Poor hygiene in the kitchen can lead to a range of illnesses caused by salmonella, E-coli and campylobacter, the most common cause of bacterial foodborne illness in the UK.
They come with an array of unpleasant side effects including vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
Dr Lisa Ackerley's top 5 tips to keep your chopping board free of germs
DESPITE your best intentions, you may not be doing everything right when it comes to using your chopping boards…
Here are Dr Lisa Ackerley’s main tips to help you keep your kitchen and chopping board germ-free
1. Think before you use it
If a board is on the kitchen surface in a busy household, do you know what was on it before?
If you don’t know, make sure it is clean enough to use, particularly if you are going to be chopping up something that is not going to be cooked, like a sandwich.
2. Don’t use a cloth to clean the chopping board
You may think you are cleaning it by wiping all the food scraps off of it, but you aren’t.
Studies have shown that the kitchen cloth is often the dirtiest thing in the house.
And if you are cleaning up after preparing raw meat, poultry or veg, you should avoid using a cloth because bacteria from these foods can contaminate the cloth and then be spread around the kitchen when you wipe the next surface.
3. Clean means hygienically clean
Disinfecting is key when you are cleaning your kitchen, especially your chopping board.
A dishwasher disinfects with heat but if you don’t have one use a readily available, food safe, anti-bacterial cleanser and spray it on to the board.
Allow it to soak for around five minutes and then rinse with running water and dry with a paper towel – not a dirty tea towel.
4. Use separate boards
When preparing food it’s important to use separate boards for raw and ready to eat foods.
But make sure you don’t get the boards mixed up.
The simplest way to avoid confusion is to get boards marked up with the foods they are for.
That way there is no excuse for other people in the house to mess up.
5. Replace regularly
If your chopping board is looking old and scratched you need to replace it.
When your chopping boards get really scratched they will be too dirty to get properly clean.
Bacteria and food will hide in the cracks and crevices and won’t come out when washed, so it’s best to start fresh with a new one.
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