Whether you’re a professional chef or simply an amateur who only cooks for the family, chopping boards are one of the most essential pieces of kit for your kitchen.
Wooden or plastic, they are invaluable for protecting your worktops and ideal for providing a level, strong surface on which to chop all manner of foodstuffs.
However, do you know the best way to clean your boards, and are you aware of the potential dangers of not cleaning them properly?
Dirty chopping boards are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, so can pose a health risk if not thoroughly cleaned.
According to the NHS, a typical chopping board is contaminated with around 200% more faecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Every kitchen surface is more likely to contain more harmful bacteria than anywhere else in the house, due to the fact it is used to prepare food – much of it raw.
Certain bacteria cause illnesses, which can be serious, particularly in the elderly and young children, so it is essential to prevent their spread if at all possible.
What to do
Hygiene experts say it is best to use separate chopping boards for different types of food – for example, red meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
Cleaning chopping boards with ordinary dishwashing cleaner and hot water is probably not going to be enough to kill most bacteria off.
Instead, if they are dishwasher safe, the very best clean they can have is in the dishwasher. In restaurants and hotels, this means using commercial dishwashers, such as those available at https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/bar-supplies/commercial-warewashers.
The intense heat (you should use a programme of 65°C or hotter) plus the thoroughness of the clean, will ensure your chopping boards emerge both spotless and hygienic.
Wooden boards will not be dishwasher safe, so why not invest in some plastic ones instead?
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can soak your boards in bleach after each use, although do be careful to rinse it off completely. You can also use antibacterial wipes to clean your boards, although again, ensure they are thoroughly rinsed afterwards. Using boiling water for this will help sterilise your boards.
Finally, never dry your chopping boards with a tea towel, as this will transfer bacteria. Use disposable paper towels instead.