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Health & Nutrition: Food Safety and Quality

How should you select and use cutting boards?

Cutting boards can harbor bacteria in cracks and grooves caused by knives. But with little effort, plastic, a hard wood, such as maple, or any nonporous surface can be used safely if used properly. Here's how:

  1. CHOOSE A GOOD SURFACE: Select a board that can be cleaned easily, that is smooth, durable, and nonabsorbent. Plastic is less porous than wood, making it less likely to harbor bacteria, and easier to clean.
  2. WASH YOUR BOARD: Wash your cutting board with hot water, soap, and even a scrub brush, to remove food and dirt particles.
  3. SANITIZE YOUR BOARD: After washing it, sanitize your board in the dishwasher or by rinsing it in a diluted chlorine bleach solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon water. You can keep such a solution handy in a spray bottle near the sink.

REMEMBER: Always clean and sanitize your board after using it for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and before using it for ready-to-eat foods. Source: Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition