Kitchen Safety Tools: Cutting Boards and Dishrags

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     Cooking can be an enjoyable experience. You can take a handful of ingredients and create a special dish to be enjoyed for days. However, here are 2 common household items to use to minimize the risk of health problems for your family and the best ways to care for your items:

Cutting Boards: Wood 

After checking to make sure the cutting board is USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) approved or reviewed by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), use a spray bottle with vinegar to sanitize it. Also, keep a wood cutting board from having cracks by using an edible/tasteless mineral or butcher block oil weekly/biweekly. This can minimize the environment for bacteria which multiples at alarming rates. Allow the oil to soak into wood for approximately 20 to 30 minutes while applying 5 coats before using it.

For regular/daily use, you can scrub with dish detergent and hot water but do not immerse completely in the water or use the dishwasher. After allowing the watery solution to seep into the wood, you can air dry or pat dry with disposable towels. Keep moisture from the bottom by wiping underneath and store until needed.

Cutting Boards: Thermoplastic

After checking the USDA and FDA guidelines as above (you can review each govermental website), use a hot, soapy water solution. Likewise, it can be used in a dishwasher if it fits. Dry and store as above.

Dishrags

Use thin light-textured dishrags and wash with dish detergent and hot water after each use. Allow to dry completely before using again. If possible, change your dishrag daily because of rapid bacteria growth, use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, and sanitize your countertops frequently. Hand washing is standard since bacteria from your hands can transfer to your dishrag.

       Cutting boards and dishrags are common household items but the potential to experience health problems is great unless care is given when purchasing and maintaining these items.

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