Cutting boards are the topic of many food safety-related conversations. They also feature frequently in an online Texas Food Handler Card course content. This is because how you care for a cutting board can dictate whether you have caused cross-contamination in your kitchen and if someone gets food poisoning or not. There can be a lot on the line.
Knowing this, as a food handler, you may want to learn as much as possible about cleaning and sanitizing your cutting boards to prevent the worst from happening. Keep reading to find out more.
The Importance Of Cleaning Cutting Boards
You might be wondering why learning about cleaning and sanitizing cutting boards can be so important. After all, can’t you just give them a quick wipe-down with a cloth? As it turns out, no.
If you don’t clean old food particles from cutting boards, you’re providing an ideal environment for pathogens to grow, multiply, and make people sick.
However, old food is just one of the many concerns. If you are not cleaning and sanitizing chopping boards properly between food types, you may increase the risk of cross-contamination.
Steps For Cleaning and Sanitizing a Cutting Board
Cleaning and sanitizing is a multi-step process, and the two terms don’t mean the same thing. We’ve included some helpful steps to perform when the time comes for you to get your Texas food handlers card and enter the foodservice industry.
- Scrape off any leftover food particles from the cutting board
- Wash the board with warm, soapy water
- Rinse off suds with clean water
- Sanitize the board by hand or in the dishwasher. This can involve the use of hot water at a minimum of 171°F or with a chemical solution to kill any pathogens.
What to do With Stainless-Steel, Plastic, and Glass Cutting Boards
What you will realize quite early on in your foodservice career is that cutting boards are made with all different materials. Some are better suited to some food types than others, and all can require different cleaning processes.
With stainless steel, glass, and plastic cutting boards, a specific cleaning process is more beneficial than others. You can put cutting boards with these materials in your dishwasher, with the high heat being able to kill pathogens.
Otherwise, you can sanitize your boards with FDA-approved sanitizers for food contact surfaces. Submerge your cutting boards in the sanitizing solution for a minimum of 10 seconds before leaving to air dry.
Taking Care of Wood and Marble Cutting Boards
Unlike plastic, glass, and stainless steel, you can’t sanitize marble and wood cutting boards in the dishwasher. Instead, you can sanitize these in an FDA-approved solution by hand.
When you sanitize your wooden chopping board, dry it by hand with a paper towel or clean towel to stop it from soaking up moisture. Marble boards can be wiped dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
How to Know It’s Time to Replace Your Cutting Board
Like most kitchen equipment at home and in the foodservice industry, cutting boards don’t last forever. However, not everyone knows when the best time to replace them is. After they have accumulated cuts and warping over time, pathogens have even more opportunities to hide.
As soon as you notice deep cracks that are hard to clean, consider replacing your boards sooner rather than later. However, regarding wooden boards, you do have other options. Wooden cutting boards can be resurfaced by sanding the board until smooth and using food-grade mineral oils to finish them.
Learn More About Safe Food Preparation With TABC Pronto
Cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping is an everyday part of preparation in the foodservice industry. However, don’t neglect your chopping boards during this process.
Avoid cross-contamination and foodborne illnesses by considering all this information above. You can also learn more about food service by enrolling in a Texas food handlers permit with TABC Pronto.