Butcher Block Co., a leading online seller of “all things butcher block,” has a consumer sweepstakes giveaway slated for August. The grand prize is a spectacular end-grain cutting board made of South American tiger wood, designed and constructed in West Texas by the artisanal studio, Cotton & Dust. It’s reversible, 2 inches thick and 22 by 11 inches. All Cotton & Dust boards carry a Lifetime Reconditioning Guarantee. You can return the board for free annual refurbishment and reconditioning.
According to the company’s Marketing VP, Kathleen Grodsky, “This promotion will serve two purposes. First, it will draw attention to Cotton & Dust’s magnificent cutting boards. Second, it provides an opportunity to remind consumers of the best, safe practices concerning the use of cutting boards. Summertime is peak grilling season, when the risk of cross-contaminating food through unsanitary practices is at its highest. With that in mind, Butcher Block Co. is disseminating the following information and helpful tips across various media outlets.”
Reminder – Unsanitary Use of Cutting Boards Can Pose Risk to Your Health
The Center for Disease Control estimates that foodborne illness sickens one in six Americans each year. A key cause is the mishandling of food, which allows for the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Since cutting boards play an essential role in the food preparation process, their unsafe use can contribute to the problem. For example, using a single cutting board both to cut up raw meat, poultry or fish, AND to slice fruit or vegetables, can result in cross-contamination. In other words, microbes can be transferred from contaminated food to clean food.
Best Practices for the Safe Use of Cutting Boards
1. Use Two Cutting Boards – Dedicate one board to cutting raw meat, poultry and/or seafood. Reserve the second board exclusively for fresh produce and bread. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
2. Wood vs. Plastic – While it’s true you can sanitize plastic cutting boards via dishwashers, cutting on them can leave deep grooves where bacteria can hide, persist and thrive. In contrast, any bacteria that remain in grooves in wooden cutting boards do not multiply; they die off as the wood dries after cleaning.
3. Cleaning – Plastic cutting boards should be washed in very hot water. To thoroughly clean a wood cutting board: rinse off debris; scrub with soapy, hot water and a bristled-brush, sponge or dish rag. Dry the board thoroughly. Moisture promotes bacterial growth.
4. Disinfecting – Once in a while, and after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry, disinfect with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Pour it on the board, spread it around and let it stand for 10 minutes, rinse and dry.
5. Moisturizing – Re-oiling (at least once a month) helps prevent butcher block from drying out or cracking. Apply food-safe oil liberally and allow it to soak into the wood overnight. Remove any excess the next day.
For more detailed instructions, see this Complete Guide to Butcher Block Care & Repair.
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