Bacteria on Cutting Boards - Ever wonder about the safest kitchen board for you and your family?
Have you ever noticed that people give priority to the wrong things? When they should be spending more time in learning about the little things that contribute in their daily lives, which will have a greater impact in the long run; they choose to spend their time and money on getting the most expensive LCD Tv or staying updated on which phone is new in market. Kitchen utensils unfortunately are one of the neglected items in a household. People tend not to care about the material or quality of these and they go for comfort. I have a question for such people; what are you going to do with all the stuff if you’re not healthy enough to use it? My intention isn’t to scare you away but to bring your attention to the fact that kitchen utensils and items that are around the food that you consumed are worth the attention, research and money you spend on them.
Cutting boards are one of the items that play an important role in everyday meal preparation. Whether you’re making a dish with meat or vegetables; you’re going to need to use one to make it. When you’re getting a cutting board, you’ll have to make some seriously informed decisions! You’ve got a number of materials to make your pick from because bacteria have different reactions to different surfaces. Kitchen safety is important to all and selecting the best board is important. However, the biggest issue when choosing kitchen boards is which board is safest in terms of its ability to keep bacteria off. The question then arises why is bacteria unsafe for you and your family? Moreover, is it plastic or wood that keeps bacteria off?
Bacteria like salmonella and others can stay in cutting boards when the boards are used for day to day cutting. Whether its vegetables, fruits or meat; all foods have bacteria which can stay and live in the boards especially if they are not cleaned properly.
Why is this dangerous? Well this is primarily because bacteria from different foods can lead to cross contamination of food. Bacteria in meat can be harmful for bacteria in vegetables and can potentially cause food poisoning. Therefore, having clean kitchen boards is important. Keeping separate kitchen boards for chopping vegetable and meat, is a measure one can take, in order to be safe and avoid any contamination.
Which one is safer: plastic or wood?
The debater of plastic or wooden cutting boards has been under the spotlight for a very long time. Here, the answer is that both can be used if the bacteria are cleaned off of them. People started using plastic boards because they seemed easier to clean and sanitize. However, after some thorough research on kitchen safety, experts started to differ on which board is safer, wood or plastic.
It is now popular belief that wooden cutting boards are safer than plastic. This is because in wooden boards the bacteria travels deep into the board where it cannot multiply because there is no oxygen in the depths of wood, thereby killing the bacteria.
Plastic Kitchen Boards and safety
People tend to lean towards plastic cutting boards because they seem easier to clean. They aren’t aware of how wrong they are. Bacteria on cutting boards, that can pose danger to health, aren’t visible to naked eyes. Even if, with the help of sponge and kitchen soap your plastic board looks cleaner, that doesn’t mean you’ve successfully killed off those germs.
Plastic boards are more susceptible to cuts and gorges by knifes and this can be problematic as these cuts are difficult to clean. Bacteria start to multiply in these cuts and gorges and often stay on the board because cleaning becomes difficult.
To get the best safety results from plastic boards, it is ideal to replace them often especially after they are scarred from cuts. It is also recommended to keep separate plastic boards for vegetables and meat for increased safety.
Bamboo cutting boards
A lot of people opt for a bamboo cutting board when choosing kitchen boards especially in this day because of its overall sustainability as compared to other cutting boards. Since bamboo is a fast growing resource, it has become easier to get your hands on a bamboo cutting board. Bamboo is not technically a wood, it is tougher and stronger than wood and also less porous than wood. The tough nature of bamboo plus its smooth feel makes it a good option for kitchen use. However, bamboo is rougher on the knives as compared to maple wood boards.
While cleaning bamboo boards, it is best to use products which do not take away the moisture from the bamboo kitchen cutting board away. A bamboo board will damage, crack and lose its shine if not moisturized or oiled properly. And since it is thinner, it can crack and warp very easily.
Maple wood Boards
Maple wood cutting board is one of the best options for kitchen cutting boards. This kind is highly recommended because when bacteria from the food are transferred on the surface, they are absorbed in the wood which cuts off their oxygen resulting in their inability to multiply or survive. This is why; bacteria are less likely to thrive in a maple wood board and dies quickly. It is sturdy and does not dull your knife. It also does not scar easy and is more durable and flexible than other boards in terms of usage. However, proper maintenance of maple wood board is necessary to increase its utility and longevity. The best way to clean a maple wood board is to wash it (do not soak!) with soapy water and then to let it dry.
Each cutting board has some advantages over the other and some disadvantages. The important thing is following the correct cleaning protocols according to the material and being conscious about bacteria.