Safe food handling practices are required in restaurants to protect customers from illness. To protect your family at home, use safe practices in your kitchen. In addition to washing your hands and properly thawing frozen food, use a combination of bleach and water to sanitize your cutting boards.
cutting boards can be a source of food contamination in your kitchen. When you slice up raw chicken, beef or other foods, any bacteria on the food can be transferred to the cutting board. If you don't clean the board correctly, the next time you place food on it, you can spread salmonella, E. coli or other disease-causing bacteria. This puts your family at risk for illness.
Bleach and Water
Bleach is an effective kitchen disinfectant that kills bacteria on contact, destroying them before they can make your family ill. The key to using bleach safely is creating a solution strong enough to kill bacteria yet not so strong it damages the cutting board. Too much bleach can also create a solution strong enough to cause skin irritation when you clean with it. The ideal ratio of bleach to water for sanitizing cutting boards is 1/2 tsp. of liquid bleach to 1 qt. of water, writes Susan C. DeWit in "Fundamental Concepts and Skills for Nursing."
To sanitize cutting boards, pour the bleach and water mixture into a spray bottle. Spritz down your cutting boards with the solution and let them sit for about five minutes. Rinse the cutting boards thoroughly under your kitchen faucet. Set them aside or dry them with a towel. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them away in a cabinet.
Over time, bleach loses its disinfecting power. Make small batches of bleach and water solution and store in a cool dark place. After two weeks, dispose of any leftover solution and make a fresh batch. This ratio of bleach to water is not strong enough to bleach linens or damage countertops, so it is safe to use to disinfect other areas in your kitchen.
- "Fundamental Concepts and Skills for Nursing"; Susan C. DeWit; 2005
- "Everyday Cheapskate's Greatest Tips"; Mary Hunt; 2005
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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