We all know how important it is to wash our hands properly before and after working with food to prevent cross-contamination, but we sometimes underestimate the importance of allocating different cutting boards to different food types to further ensure food safety.
All boards, whether plastic or wood, nurture bacteria in their pores. If you’ve used a board to cut raw meat, Halaal fish or poultry, the juices seep into the surface of the board. If you then use it to chop non-meat foods like fruit, vegetable or cheese – even if you’ve cleaned it thoroughly between uses – there’s always the chance of that bacteria being transferred onto the next food item. So, the best way to avoid spreading the bacteria is to use separate cutting boards.
If you want to prevent spreading foodborne diseases, here are a few simple rules to follow:
- Keep all your non-Halaal and Halaal certified meat, poultry and seafood separate from other food items in both your shopping basket and later in your fridge – this prevents any juices that may escape packaging to contaminate produce
- Always use separate cutting boards for meat and produce – according to Becoming a Chef, colour coded boards are the ideal solution: red is for high-risk foods like raw chicken and meat; blue for raw fish; white for dairy; yellow for cooked meats; brown for vegetables; green for salads and fruits; and purple for nuts
- Be sure to wash your cutting board thoroughly after each use with hot soapy water and as an additional precaution, disinfect with diluted bleach or a mild Milton solution if necessary
- While some prefer to use plastic cutting boards for raw meat because they can be washed in the dishwasher, others swear by wooden cutting boards and butcher’s blocks
- If you’re of the wood persuasion use a paste of salt and lemon juice to clean the board and be sure to keep an eye out for knife marks and cracks as these can allow meat juices to seep even further into the wood making it difficult to clean – if this happens it’s time to either replace the board or sand it down by about 2mm so that you start with a fresh clean surface.
By following these simple, but essential guidelines, you ensure the highest likelihood of food safety in your kitchen.
And at N1 your order (whether it’s non-Halaal or Halaal certified meat or Halaal fish) is produced and delivered to meet your specific requirements while adhering to the strictest hygiene control guidelines. Because at N1 you are guaranteed quality, service and delivery of the highest standard at all times!