How to Maintain a Clean Cutting Board

How to Clean Cutting Boards Used for Meat
After prepping meat on your cutting board, you've got to sanitize it.
After prepping meat on your cutting board, you've got to sanitize it.
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Salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria can be found on poorly cleaned cutting boards that have served as prep areas for raw meat. To minimize your family's risk of exposure to these kinds of contaminants, consider using two cutting boards in your household -- one for fruits and vegetables and another for meat.

A chopping block that comes into contact with only veggies and fruit doesn't need to be sanitized after every use. However, you should sanitize it each time you work with animal proteins of any kind, including fish, poultry and beef.

Wooden cutting boards should be oiled weekly to seal the grain against bacteria. Mineral oil works great for this. Some other kinds of oil will do the job, but never use vegetable or cooking oil to season a wooden cutting board; these types spoil the wood and will produce a rancid smell. Remember to replace boards that are severely scratched or grooved from wear: It's too easy for bacteria to get caught in the cracks.

If you've been working with particularly pungent foods like garlic, onions or fish, eliminate their odors trapped in the cutting board by wiping a fresh lemon wedge on the surface area after you've cleaned and disinfected it.

Mini chunks of meat can fall off of the cutting block, and raw meat juices can splatter, leaving no visible trace. Even if you always use a disinfected cutting board, it's a good habit to wipe down the counter under and around the cooking area with hot, soapy water after you're done. All-purpose cleaner that's suitable to your type of countertop works fine, too.

Related Articles


  • 14 Green Kitchen Cleaning Tips. TLC Home. (Dec. 1, 2010).
  • The American Cleaning Institute. "Home Safety Myth Busters." 2010. (Nov. 21, 2010).
  • Food Safety Dictionary. (Dec. 1, 2010).
  • Keenan, Susan M. "DIY: How to Clean, Remove Stain, Sanitize and Store Your Cutting Board." (Nov. 21, 2010).
  • Kitchen Cleaning Tips. TLC Home. (Dec. 1, 2010).
  • Russell, Ellen. "Cleaners in Your Kitchen Cabinets: Lemon Juice, Salt and More." (Nov. 21, 2010).
  • Stradley, Linda. "Cutting Boards, Chopping Blocks, Butcher Blocks." What's Cooking America. 2010. (Nov. 21, 2010).

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