Do I use my vegetable-only cutting board or my meat-only cutting board for cooked meat?
On one hand, you’re not supposed to “cross the streams” with meat and vegetables because of cross-contamination. On the other hand, that could happen on the meat board too, since it’s going directly from that board to my mouth, and I’ve still cut raw chicken on it.
I use the meat-only cutting board for cooked meat too. I wash and rinse it well every time I use it anyway.
To me, the distinction in cutting boards isn’t vegetable vs. meat. It’s uncontaminated vs. contaminated, or safe vs. unsafe. The purpose of having two boards is to avoid contaminating food that’s ready to eat with hazardous bacteria. So, for example, I wouldn’t cut up raw chicken on a cutting board and then put the cooked, ready to eat chicken on the same board. It would probably be safe if you scrubbed the board thorougly between uses, but why take a chance? At the same time, if you’re going to cook vegetables with the chicken, why not cut them on the same board as the chicken? The cooking will kill any bacteria.
Of course, you should clean your cutting boards frequently regardless of what you use them for. Food juices can grow bacteria if you don’t wash them away.
I agree with @Jeff_Lichtman. I’ve never paid attention to the two cutting boards nonsense.
There is a pre cutting board and a post cutting board. And they’re both actually the same board. Just washed in between.
Nonsense, hm? It is recommended that people should actually have more than just two cutting boards. Here is a quote from the wikipedia article:
Bacteria or allergens can easily be transmitted from one part of the kitchen to another or from one food to another via knives, hands, or surfaces such as chopping boards. To reduce the chance of this it is advised to use separate boards for different types of food such as raw meat, cooked meat, dairy and vegetables. Many professional kitchens follow this standard colour-coding system:
I have several color coded cutting boards. Red, green, blue etc. Red is for any raw meat. Green for veggies, and blue for “other”. Other would be bread and stuff like that.
If I’m preparing meat and veggies to be cooked such as for stew I’ll just continue with the red board unless there will be some time in between where bacteria would have time to populate.
All boards are cleaned after use with hot water and dish soap. The red meat board is usually sprayed down with a bleach containing cleaner as well.
I have color coded cutting boards too, but I don’t use them exclusively for certain items. I wash them thoroughly after every use.
As I’m cooking, I don’t use the same dirty cutting board for more than one kind of food item. So if I’m making stew, I use one for raw meat and one for vegetables. The next time they’re used, the one I used for vegetables a week ago might get used for raw meat. Whichever one I pull out is the one that gets used.
I use different cutting boards for prep than for serving. I use the dishwasher-safe plastic boards for raw meat and onions. After I use one for meat, I wash it by hand, then I put it in the dishwasher to be sanitized next time we get around to running the dishwasher. I often use the same cutting board for onions as for other veggies I’m prepping, but that, too, goes into the dishwasher when I’m done chopping.
I have a bread board that’s only used for bread, various wooden and bamboo cutting boards that are used for veggies and cheese that will be eaten without being cooked (and sometimes for veggies like cauliflower that I’ve washed and that I might eat raw, but happen to be cooking) and serving platters that I carve cooked meat on. Yeah, the platters aren’t great for my carving knife. But they have a lip to contain the juice and they are easy to clean.
Actually, that’s the one time I might use the same board for cutting both meat and veggies. In general I don’t, but I sometimes chop the veggies on the meat board if I’m making stew.
I use the same board for most everything, even though I have several. Never had a problem, but that’s because I use this new-fangled thing called “dish soap” and hot water to wash it. I do have a separate board for bread, but that’s just for convenience, as it’s located near the toaster oven.
As said, it’s not nonsense, any more that safe temperatures are nonsense. They have these thin flexible cutting sheets now that come in sets of several so it’s very easy to distinguish uses. (And because they’re flexible, you can bend them to dump the cut stuff into the pot.
How does increasing the number of items that can be contaminated reduce the chance of contamination? If it’s so easy to transmit bacteria or allergens from one place to another than the extra cutting boards will just contaminated also.
Just wash things folks. If you used a knife to cut meat then wash it before you slice vegetables that will be eaten raw. Why wouldn’t you do that anyway?
It means I don’t need to wash the meat cutting board meticulously, because it will be sanitized by the dishwasher.
I just use one knife and cutting board for everything, cut up all the veggies first, and the raw meat last. Easy peasy. If it happens that I forgot to cut up something after I’ve cut up raw meat, then yes, I break out a second knife and cutting board. But I try to plan well enough so that doesn’t happen.
Fully cooked meat is different; it can generally be cut in any order with the veggies on the same board because it’s not going to contaminate anything.
Exactly. When I’m mucking about with raw meats (especially poultry), I wear nitrile gloves, only touch the meat with the left hand, and use the right hand to hold the knife, turn on water, etc. Once the meat is cut up and either in the pan or in a bowl awaiting same, the board gets scrubbed with soap and water, and then the sink gets the same treatment. As someone else said, I do all veggie cutting first and do mis en place, if necessary, prior to messing about with meat. I have more cutting boards than the law allows (12 at last count), but I rarely use most of them.
When cooking, it is best to use different boards for meat and vegetables. It is true that washing the board with hot water and rinsing it well reduces the risk of cross-contamination, but no one can be % sure the cutting board is germ free until it dries completely. This is the main reason why all professionals recommend this procedure, which they themselves follow.
Here’s a cite as well:
Whether you’re serving up meat, poultry or seafood for dinner, any form of raw meat may contain bacteria. And when you use a cutting board to prepare these food items, said bacteria can survive a hot, soapy wash and linger in the board’s crevices. The result? You could potentially taint other foods chopped on the same board.
While that may be less of a problem for meat cooked to a safe internal temperature, your fruits and veggies may pick up some of the bacteria from your cutting board. Yuck. This possibility for cross-contamination is the same reason why health officials caution against washing chicken before you cook it.
Luckily, reducing the risk is simple. Keep two or more cutting boards on hand and make sure one of them is reserved specifically for chopping raw meat, poultry and seafood.
ETA: to add the source.
When I am portioning and wrapping meat for the freezer, I wear gloves, and when I am done anything and everything I’ve touched gets wiped down with disinfecting wipes–and please GAWD, make them available soon! I am even more meticulous when working with raw chicken. Factory farmed chicken is a festering stew of salmonella.
Cutting boards are all plastic, and are typically used once and then get a ride through the dishwasher. I always-always-ALWAYS use the temperature boost for both wash and rinse cycles.
I also keep a bottle of bleach in an old dish detergent bottle next to the sink. Cutting boards, stained dishes, STINKIN’ dishes all get help with a squirt of bleach. Burned on stuff at the bottom of a pan gets a soak of hot soapy water AND a squirt of bleach. Crockpots with stubborn stuff stuck to the sides, same thing. You’d be amazed at how easily those messes clean up!
I love bleach!
That’s fine, but not what the recommendation is. If your cutting boards have been through a hot cycle in the dishwasher they are fine no matter what you last cut on them. Of course if a board is deeply scored it’s time to get rid of it anyway (and maybe work on your knife technique).
These scare tactics are encouraged by the public health authorities based on the belief that people are too stupid to wash their cooking utensils and not use the same board that you just cut up raw chicken on to prepare your salad. The danger that food has been contaminated before you bring it home is so much greater than occurring in your own kitchen there hardly seems to be room for any such incidents to occur.
It would seem that designating a board as “vegetable-only” would rule that one out, unless you’re some sort of little rebel.
Leaving you only the decision of whether you should eat cooked meat off of a contaminated meat-only board or not.