Steps to Avoid Cutting Board Cross Contamination
Nothing will ruin a restaurant’s reputation than an outbreak of some food-borne illness, so following the basic rules every time, no matter how busy you are, is paramount.
When juices from raw meats or germs from unclean objects accidentally touch cooked or ready-to-eat foods (such as fruits or salads), cross-contamination occurs. If not cleaned correctly, the board harbors harmful bacteria.
Almost every food item that leaves your kitchen will make contact with a cutting board, either before or after cooking. Some foods, like fresh vegetables for salads may not be cooked at all, and so a clean surface is really important. The basic rules for cutting boards are:
Use two cutting boards: one strictly to cut raw meat, poultry and seafood; the other for ready-to-eat foods, like breads and vegetables.
Don’t confuse them.
Wash boards thoroughly in hot, soapy water after each use or place in dishwasher-
Discard old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and excessive knife scars.
More practices that will reduce cross-contamination in the kitchen:
- Wash plates between uses or use separate plates: one for holding raw meat, poultry and seafood; another for cooked foods.
- Store raw meats, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
- Place washed produce into clean storage containers, not back into the original ones.&
- Use one utensil to taste and another to stir or mix food.
- Make sure you use clean scissors or blades to open bags of food.
- Wear latex gloves if you have a sore or cut on your hand.
Most people respond to visual reminder, so place signs all over your kitchen. New workers and veterans will invariable lapse into bad habits if they aren’t reminded. It should be a natural habit to wash hands and wash surfaces that touch food.