LifestyleMany people skip an important activity. They expose themselves to poisoning

Many people skip an important activity. They expose themselves to poisoning

Washing the cutting board is extremely important.
Washing the cutting board is extremely important.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

8:08 AM EDT, October 12, 2023

Julian Bond, a chef and vice president of the "Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts" uses potatoes to help his cooking students understand the nuances associated with food safety. As he explains in an interview with, his students are aware that a cutting board needs to be thoroughly washed after cutting meat on it, but they don't handle it as such after chopping potatoes or other vegetables (and fruits). And that is a big mistake.

Not only raw meat, but also fruits and vegetables participate in the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms. What's more, in the United States, diseases transmitted by food are most often associated with fruits. Recent outbreaks include leafy vegetables, strawberries, alfalfa sprouts, and mushrooms and can be caused by contaminated soil, water, or even improper preparation by workers. Although contaminated products are rare, disease outbreaks occur every year.

How to handle a cutting board? One mistake can expose us to poisoning

Bond explains that a cutting board that isn't cleaned properly is a breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens. The chef and food safety experts illustrate the dangers associated with not washing the board thoroughly after cutting potatoes on it, but merely wiping it down.

- The pathogenic microorganisms found in raw potatoes are those that are present in the soil and can survive in it. I would be most afraid of spore-forming pathogens such as Bacillus cereus, Clostridium botulinum, and Clostridium perfringens. Yummy - explains Donald Schaffner, head of the food science department at Rutgers University.

These pathogens naturally occur in the soil or appear as a result of improper composting of animal feces. They are responsible for gastrointestinal disorders and diarrhea, however, according to Schaffner, a really large dose of these pathogens is needed to get sick. However, they are dangerous and often cause deadly epidemics. Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter are pathogens, small doses of which can cause infections, and they also often contaminate fruits and vegetables.

How to use a cutting board?
How to use a cutting board?© Pixabay

How often should you wash a cutting board?

Julian Bond recommends always thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables under running water. In the case of stubborn dirt, it's worth using a soft brush, but there's no need to use soap. According to Schaffner, washing products will help eliminate microorganisms and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

- Always assume that products can be covered with pathogens - said Detweiler. - Wash your hands, even if you're just using the potatoes for decoration. Wash and scrub all products before cooking them.

Experts emphasize that cutting boards should always be thoroughly washed, not just after cutting meat, but also vegetables and fruits. It's also worth knowing that ready-to-eat products (like apples) should not come into contact with raw ones. This will help avoid cross-contamination. Cleansing surfaces, tools, and products is key to maintaining safety even when preparing harmless potatoes.

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