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Aug 9, 2012 11:29 PM

Importance of separate cutting board for fish/meat?

I accidentally used the cutting board we use for fish to cut a vanilla bean pod that I then placed in with a mixture that is to freeze into ice cream that I'll be serving guests. The vanilla bean pod did not get cooked and the mixture it's in won't be cooked, just frozen. Is this safe?

I know you're supposed to have different boards for safety reasons. I'm pretty new to eating fish and don't eat meat so I'm not used to separate boards and am not sure how big a deal it might be or might not be. Thanks.

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  1. I don't have a separate cutting board for meat, but I do wash it thoroughly with hot water and soap after cutting meat, poultry or seafood.

    If the board was well washed I wouldn't worry. If it hadn't been washed, I would throw out the ice cream mixture.

    1. Did you wash the cutting board between uses?

      2 Replies
      1. I use a wood cutting board for everything. Just wash and dry. Never had an issue with cross contamination of germs, odors or flavors

        8 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          Me too for a number of years. I do like to have separate boards, but I often don't follow my own rules. Wash the boards with a good detergent between uses. Use a brush to scrub a bit . Rinse and dry. I honestly don't think doing this hurts unless you are cooking for someone with a compromised immune system.

          I don't know who made that rule up, but I do know that they've run tests on wooden boards and found they don't harbor bacteria as previously feared. (I don't know the study. I read this several years ago.)

          I would run the scrubbing brush through the dishwasher frequently though.

          1. re: sueatmo

            'I don't know who made that rule up..."

            Cutting board manufacturers. A thorough wash is enough, especially if your dishwasher has a sanitize function.

            1. re: pine time

              I don't think I'd put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher. Plastic yes,.

              1. re: sueatmo

                Guess I thought that was a given, but ya never know!

                1. re: sueatmo

                  I have put wooden cutting boards in the diswasher for quite a while. One lasted, oh, about 5-10 years before cracking and breaking down a wood-grain seam, but other than that I've never had a problem with it.

                  1. re: Midknight

                    If I am not there to stop him, my dear Mr. CB sneaks the wooden boards into the dish washer. In 20 years, only one seperated along a seam.

                    My father, who enjoyed wood working in his spare time, had a variety of slabs (solid pieces) he finished into cutting boards and he always put them in the dishwasher. I am still kicking myself that I didn't take them when we split up his house.

                    All that being said, if I were to buy a "pretty" cutting board like I see at some of the nicer fairs, I wouldn't want that to go into the dish washer.

                    1. re: cleobeach

                      As a general principal, I don't put any sort of wood in the dishwasher. I am frankly surprised that anyone would. But it sounds like it can be done. I wonder if my cheap bamboo boards would withstand the dishwasher cycle.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        Bamboo is a quite robust and solid material, being used even as flooring.

                        The dishwashing is not so hard on materials as is the sustained high heat in the drying cycle. I used to wash our plastic pitchers and other kitchen items on the wash cycle only, pulling them out just before the dry cycle began.

                        Until my wife caught me.

          2. If the cutting board was cleaned after you last cut fish, then you are fine.

            I don't have separate boards for fish/meat/veggies either. I have a large one for large jobs and a smaller one for small jobs. Never had a problem.

            1. I'm with the others that don't use separate cutting boards and think your ice cream will be perfectly safe. That being said, when I skin or otherwise trim fish I do so on the butcher paper that it as wrapped in and not directly on the board. Also, fish is meat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gourmanda

                Yes fish is meat but to distinguish not eating land animals vs. animals living in the water it's much easier to call fish "fish" and animals who live on land "meat." I figure most people get it. To be more accurate I could have said I do not eat meat other than fish.