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Kitchen Tip: Trio of Cutting Boards

Everyday Food, April 2007

Wipe the slate clean by picking up three of these indispensable helpers in different colors and giving each its own job.

The Problem
One word: Bacteria. Even after normal washing, germs, including harmful ones such as salmonella and E. coli, survive in the scratches on cutting boards. Food that comes in contact with these organisms may become contaminated and, if eaten raw, can cause illness.

The Solution
Keep three cutting boards on hand, each in a different color. (We like plastic because, unlike wood, you can toss it into the dishwasher.) Use one color for cutting only raw poultry, another for only raw meat, and the third for produce and bread.

How to Sanitize
It's easiest to wash plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher on the hottest setting. To wash by hand, use very hot, soapy water, and scrub well; spray the board with a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons chlorine bleach to one pint water, let sit for two minutes, rinse, and dry. Store standing upright.