Ask anyone if they’d consider chopping food on a toilet seat and they’re bound to say no. They’ll most likely say that’s unhygienic and that they would obviously prepare food on a chopping board. But they could well be wrong!
In a recent study of how bacteria spreads within the environment, scientists discovered that toilet seats are one of the cleanest things you’ll encounter in your day-to-day life. Dr Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona comments: “It’s one of the cleanest things you’ll run across in terms of micro-organisms. It’s our gold standard – there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs.”
It transpires that one of the dirtiest households items is the chopping board; usually there are about 200 times more faecal bacteria on the average cutting board than on a toilet seat, the scientists claim. Dish clothes and sponges are even worse, with about 10 million bacteria per square inch on a sponge, and a million on a dishcloth. Professor of virology John Oxford at the University of London and chair of the Hygiene Council concurs: “always the dirtiest thing by far is the kitchen sponge”.
Other everyday items that are well known for harbouring germs include:
- kitchen fridge
- bathroom seals
- kitchen towels
- shopping trolleys
- bags for life
Apparently there can be more faecal material in a bag for life than in a pair of underpants …yuk!
And although the winter vomitting bug appears to back with vigour again this year, most of us seem to fend off all these hidden bacteria that are alive and well in products we use every day. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care when preparing ingredients for your dinner tonight. Always make sure that you wash your hands after handling raw meat, fish and poultry. You should watch how you use your chopping boards – ideally use separate boards for veg, meat etc and ensure that you clean them thoroughly after use. Wash non-wooden chopping boards in your dishwasher where possible and use hot, soapy water for wooden boards, rinse and allow to dry naturally.
If you’ve read this and are now thinking that you’ve had the same board for too long then take a look at our range of quality chopping boards in our store now.