Cleaning And Sanitising Cutting Boards
In addition to clean as you go for tables and equipment is the regular daily cleaning in the ‘wash-up’ areas, such as the dishwasher and scullery. An important area to focus on is the cleaning and sanitising of cutting boards.
Cutting boards are by far the highest risk item in the kitchen due to almost all foods coming into contact with these items that some stage of the preparation process.
Therefore, the cutting boards need their own special cleaning procedure.
Washing & Rinsing Equipment
Ideally there should be a three sink system in place where washing, rinsing and sanitising can take place. I have found in the industry that this is not often the case, I will address a two sink system.
- The wash and rinse basins should be filled with warm water at 45o C or above (114o F).
- The basins should have an automated chemical dispenser for the manual detergent and sanitiser.
- This is the standard procedure for any manual washing that may take place, but because the cutting boards are so high-risk, additional steps are needed in order to ensure effective cleaning and sanitising.
What equipment will you need to clean & sanitise cutting boards?
Below is a list of equipment that you will need, other than the basic wash and rinse basin:
- Manual wash detergent
- Suitable cleaning brush
- Storage rack designed for cutting boards
- Liquid sanitiser diluted in a spray bottle
What are the cleaning steps?
Remove excess dirt or soil
- Add extra soap onto the cutting board
- Scrub with a plastic bristled brush
- Rinse off in the rinse water
- Store in a drying rack
- Spray evenly with a sanitiser*
These include :
- Spraying with a liquid sanitiser as discussed.
- Soaking in a water and chlorine-based sanitiser solution.
- Running through a dishwasher after scrubbing.
All methods are effective, however in terms of efficiency, the use of the liquid sanitiser is best.
Preventing Food Contamination
The best way to prevent contamination from cutting boards:
- Buy hard acrylic (nylon) or rubber boards, as they are generally considered the most hygienic choice (these are commonly used in restaurant kitchens).
- Wooden boards should be kept as dry, clean and sanitised as possible.
- Consider using beeswax or mineral oil to treat the surface of wood cutting boards every few months, to help form a natural seal against food contamination.
- Get colour-coded sets of cutting boards, or label your boards yourself, so that you remember which board is which.
- Throw away any chopping boards that are badly cracked, scratched and or visibly stained. Bacteria grow in the scratches and cracks. Like all kitchen equipment, cutting boards have a shelf-life and it’s vital that you get rid of old boards to maintain a safe, healthy kitchen.
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