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Q: microbiology and home hygiene ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: microbiology and home hygiene
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: barbara53-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2006 18:04 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2006 18:04 PDT
Question ID: 754836
I want to know if there is any safe way to clean my wooden cutting
board after letting my dog lick it off.  Is this a hideously
unhygienic practice?  Should I clean it with bleach?
Subject: Re: microbiology and home hygiene
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 10 Aug 2006 18:41 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Barbara53,

   Years ago, I worked overtime for three days, after our hospital
admitted an entire family with salmonellosis.  Someone had chopped
salad greens on a wooden cutting board that had been used to cut raw
chicken, and not washed in between. I immediately changed my wooden
cutting board for nice non-porous plastic cutting board. If you love
you wooden cutting board and love your dog enough to let it lick it,
at least follow the standard cutting board cleaning procedures!

   It is often said that a dog has a cleaner mouth than humans. Well,
that is plain wrong. Dogs can transmit staph, strep and a really nasty
bug called pasteurella multocida, among other organisms.

   ?It?s a fact.  Most dog owners never take a good look inside their
dog?s mouth.  And that?s unfortunate because it is estimated that over
80 percent have significant oral pathology.  Every day veterinarians
are presented with patients for routine vaccinations or other minor
afflictions whose oral health status is truly cause for alarm.  Upon
displaying the dog?s loose teeth, sore and infected gums, and rotting
tooth sockets to the dog?s owner, the response usually is one of
surprise and shock.?

  I know lots of people who let their dogs lick their plates, and I
too have been guilty of this on occasion. I rinse the plate well,
before sticking into the dishwasher. Plates are, however, non-porous,
while a wood cutting board is. That makes it more susceptible to
harboring and  breeding bacteria and viruses.

  Cleaning your cutting board as follows will also be effective in
destroying any bugs your four-footed friend leaves behind. (I might
still consider a plastic or Corian cutting board!)

?IMPORTANT:  Whichever kind of cutting board you use, clean it
frequently with hot soapy water. Sanitize both wood and plastic
cutting boards with a diluted chlorine bleach or vinegar solution
consisting of one teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach in one quart of
water or a one to five dilution of vinegar. Flood the surface with a
sanitizing solution and allow it to stand for several minutes, then
rinse and air dry or pat dry with paper towels.?

Please see the link below for complete information. ?Wooden boards
need oiling once a week to seal the grain against bacteria. An oil
finish helps to prevent the wood from cracking or pulling apart at the
seams. Use a product that is (1) edible; and (2) tasteless. USP-grade
mineral oil is a popular choice as it is the cheapest pure food-grade
oil you can buy (do not use vegetable or olive oil because it can turn
rancid). Mineral oil remains safe throughout its life. NOTE: Pure
mineral oil can be easily found at your local drug store.?

?Wood cutting boards may be cleaned with a solution of household
bleach and water. Mix together 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach and one
quart of water. Wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water and rinse
thoroughly. Spray the chlorine bleach solution onto the board and let
air dry.?

After cleaning the board, you may want to slightly refinish the surface.

I?m sure you will find this article interesting

There you go! I hope this has helped you out!


Search Terms
Disinfecting + wooden cutting board
Bacteria + dog?s mouth
barbara53-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Very thorough, with lots of web links for references.

Subject: Re: microbiology and home hygiene
From: markvmd-ga on 10 Aug 2006 21:31 PDT
Yep, using that wooden board is a bigger problem than having the dog
lick it. Still, if we don't expose ourselves to germs every once in a
while, we'd never develop immunity to anything.

Crabcakes's bleach recipe is quite good. A 5% solution of bleach (more
than a teaspoon per quart, 5% is three tablespoons per quart or 50ml
per litre) left to sit for 15 minutes will kill darn near anything--
including viruses! Leave it 30 minutes and whatever survived the 15
minute soak will be history. This assumes you've washed with soap
first to break up any fats.

The big advantage a plastic board has over a wood one is the plastic
doesn't provide moist pockets for bacteria to grow. Wood will hold
onto water and give germs a haven in which to multiply. If the board
is dry-- bone dry-- then nothing can grow. Wood is almost never this
Subject: Re: microbiology and home hygiene
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Aug 2006 04:08 PDT
Of course, if any cutting board is not cleaned, bits of the food will
adhere and sooner or later harbor salmonella or other bad stuff.
However, it has been demonstrated that well-cleaned wooden board has
antibacterial properties that actually make it safer to use than a
plastic board.

This goes against the grain of many people in this day of plastics and
so much knowledge about what can harm us.  They wondering how people
could have survived in olden times when they didn't know about
microbes and bacteria, and they cringe at a dislay of a medieval
kitchen:  long trough from a tree trunk to make dough, wooden
trenchers, bowls, pails, stir-paddles, etc.  And folks back then only
used elbow-grease to scrub them.
But they did survive, because of the antiseptic properties of the
wood.  Somewhere else I read that it is that tannins.  Surface
treatment of the wood that hinders contact between the bare wood and
the bacteria obviously decreases this effect.
Birch bark is a known mild antiseptic.  Birch bark containers keep
milk fresh longer than other materials.  The reference for this is not
very scientific, unfortunately:

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