What is the perfect cutting board?

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How do i choose the perfect chopping board?

Did you know that an average cutting board contains more bacteria than a toilet seat? Now I don't want to be here to argue for a new trend à la toilette cuisine. How to best maintain your cutting board and which choices can help you with this.

The importance of hygiene

Bacteria end up on your chopping board through the processing of raw food. Raw food can contain pathogenic bacteria that can survive in the chopping board if it’s not cleaned properly. Salmonella and Campylobacter are examples of this, the latter being the most common cause of food poisoning.

How do i choose the perfect chopping board?

Fortunately, you can limit the risk of residual bacteria by taking the following factors into account.

Choose between a wooden or plastic cutting board?

For a long time, the use of wooden chopping boards was not recommended in the catering industry. However, this is a myth. The FASFC allows wooden chopping boards and there is a good reason for that

Let's start by making it clear that both wood and plastic chopping boards contain bacteria when not properly cleaned. Cutting on the chopping board creates grooves where the bacteria hide. There is, however, a difference when it comes to what happens next. A groove in a plastic chopping board will close around the remaining dirt, making it quite difficult to clean everything. When washing a wooden chopping board, the groove is not closed; the wood will just open when rinsed, so you can clean it well

A well-maintained wooden chopping board is also assisted by an extra protective layer. The pores of the wood are saturated through regular oiling of the chopping board. This means that there is no place for the bacteria to penetrate the wood and so they do not have the opportunity to settle in the board.

In addition, wood would also have an antibacterial effect. The tannin in the wood ensures that the bacteria multiply less. This effect remains even after the first use.

What about grooves?

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Plastic chopping boards can quickly become indented due to frequent use. That is why we recommend hardwood chopping boards. These are made of wood types that are very strong and durable. With hardwoods such as maple, ash and acacia, it will take much longer before cut grooves appear.

Another factor is the direction of the wood texture. With a traditional chopping board, the grain of the wood runs horizontally across the surface. This means that you cut with the grain when cutting. This makes it easier to make a notch in the wood structure. When the wood structure is vertical, we call it end grain. Just like a chopping block in the butcher shop. This cutting method makes the wood much stronger and gives it better resistance to pressure.

How many chopping boards do i need?

To ensure hygiene, it is best to use different chopping boards for cutting raw products and already-prepared products. If you prefer to keep it simple, think carefully about the order of cutting. First heated products, then fermented ones, and finally raw foods. The golden rule is to never place heated products on a surface where raw foods have previously been processed.

How to maintain your chopping board?

Clean wooden chopping boards with a brush and a little soap under hot running water. Dry the chopping board with a dry towel and let it dry upright to prevent warping.

Brecht Loterman • Managing Director Chef & Knife

Every other month you can give your chopping board some 'major maintenance'. To thoroughly clean your shelf, sprinkle the surface with baking soda and sprinkle it with vinegar. Then give your chopping board a thorough scrub so that all the dirt is absorbed and sanded away. Afterwards, rinse the surface under hot running water.

To protect your chopping board against unwanted intruders, rub it once a month with mineral oil or beeswax. Apply oil or beeswax until the surface is saturated and no longer absorbs any product. That way, you will have a nice protective layer again and your board will be just like new.

Geschreven door Alissa Perreman en Brecht Loterman 

www.chefandknife.be / info@chefandknife.be

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