Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Wood Cutting Board Or Butcher Block

Helpful advice for keeping your cutting boards clean, healthy, odor and stain free, and you and your family safe.

After each use always wash down your board with a clean soapy sponge under running water in your sink, and rinse well. Never submerge your board in water or place it in the dishwasher. Sanitize your cutting board using a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, as recommend by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Be sure to rinse the board with plain water after using any disinfectant. After cleaning, wipe off any excess water with a paper towel. Then let the board air dry completely. Remember that air needs to get to both sides of the board, so if your board does not have feet, prop it against a vertical surface so that air can reach both sides. Never let your board sit in standing water, or on a wet counter top or sink. After your cutting board has dried treat it with good oil formulated to protect wooden boards cleaning wipes.

To remove odors lemon juice with a little salt will go a long way to reducing odor. Sprinkle your cutting board with kosher or table salt. Cut a lemon into quarters and use these quarters to rub the salt into the board, squeezing juice onto the board as you go. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and then wipe the cutting board clean with a damp cloth and let air dry.

If your board has become stained and rough again you can, sprinkle kosher or table salt onto your cutting board and then use a clean damp sponge or towel to rub the stained or discolored areas, the salt will help absorb stains. For stubborn stains or rough boards, try sanding down the board with a 120 or 150 grit sanding sponge. It is very important to sand with the grain of the wood, never against the grain. The sanding process will expose a new wood surface on your board. Once sanding is complete, it is recommended to oil your cutting board with oil formulated to protect wooden boards, or you may use food safe mineral oil to control the moisture content in the board to keep it from drying out, cracking or splitting.

Although a well kept board will not harbor bacteria, it is a good habit to use separate cutting boards for different types of food prep. For example, use one for raw meat, poultry, or fish, and another for cooked or ready-to-eat foods such as salad, vegetables, and b

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