March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Be Careful With Cutting Boards
When juices from raw meats or germs from unclean objects accidentally touch cooked or ready-to-eat foods (such as fruits or salads), cross-contamination occurs. If not cleaned correctly, the board harbors harmful bacteria.
Acrylic, Glass, Marble, Plastic or Solid Wood?
You choose. Just follow these guidelines:
- Use two cutting boards: one strictly to cut raw meat, poultry and seafood; the other for ready-to-eat foods, like breads and vegetables.
- Don't confuse them.
- Wash boards thoroughly in hot, soapy water after each use or place in dishwasher-
- Discard old cutting boards that have cracks, crevices and excessive knife scars.
Reminders To Prevent Cross-Contamination:
- Wash plates between uses or use separate plates: one for holding raw meat, poultry and seafood; another for cooked foods.
- Store raw meats, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don't drip onto other foods.
- Place washed produce into clean storage containers, not back into the original ones.&
- Use one utensil to taste and another to stir or mix food.
- Make sure you use clean scissors or blades to open bags of food.
- Wear latex gloves if you have a sore or cut on your hand.
Special Precaution: After cutting raw meats on your board, first clean thoroughly with hot soapy water, then disinfect with chlorine bleach or other sanitizing solution, and last rinse with clean water.