A basic refresher on sanitation is a must if you are going to be cutting meat and poultry at
home…..well, any where for that matter.
#1 Wash your hands, and equipment, FREQUENTLY with hot water and soap. Dry your hands with a
I also like to use a instant hand sanitizer, such as Purell, before and after coming in contact
with meat, poultry and vegetables. You don’t need a lot…probably a squirt in one hand about the size of a dime
and rub in until your hands are dry….approximately 15-20 seconds. In as little as 15 seconds it will kill 99.99% of
most common germs that can cause illness.
The use of latex gloves is also useful in the handling of meat, especially if you are prepping
with any vegetable oil or other messy substances. Make sure to buy the gloves with NO powder. These can be purchased in quantity
at a reasonable price at most membership box stores and restaurant supply houses.
#2 The next area of concern is CROSS CONTAMINATION in your food prep area. Proper cleaning procedures
and common sense prevail here and will prevent you, your family and your guests from any unpleasant food bacteria related
illnesses. I can’t stress this enough.
I suggest using a different cutting board, preferably made of a plastic type or Teflon material,
for your three main categories of food prep. One for meats, one for poultry and one for cutting fresh vegetables. These are
inexpensive and can be bought cheaply in most discount/department stores. Some people buy them color coded….red for
meat, yellow for poultry and green for produce. Or, you can just label them. Make sure they are NSF approved. What ever you
do, clean them properly after each use and you should not have any problems.
Wash in hot soapy water, making sure to loosen any meat particles stuck to the surface with
a brush, and rinse in hot water. Now, make a sanitizing solution of bleach and COLD water. Hot water will kill the sanitizing
benefits of bleach. I recommend using a ration of one ounce bleach per one gallon of water. Or, ½ oz per ½ gal water, etc.
Rinse the board thoroughly and let air dry. Before each use, I suggest dipping a paper towel in a fresh solution of the bleach/water
mix* and wiping the cutting board to make sure to kill any airborne germs that may have accrued during storage.
Follow the same above procedure with any other equipment, or surfaces, that came in contact
with the meat. Wipe your knives dry as soon as sanitizing, bleach may stain or rust certain steels.
* Two new items have hit the market lately. Lysol Food Surface Cleanerİ and Clorox Anywhere Hard Surfaceİ. Both come in a
22 oz spray bottle for approximately $3. They are scent free and kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces
such as cutting boards, counters, metal and plastic kitchen tools. No rinsing required.