How to Clean a Cutting Board After Cutting Raw Meat?

Updated On: July 23, 2021

Raw meat and poultry contain lots of pathogens. It’s important to clean a cutting board once you’ve used it for cutting raw meat. Otherwise, the bacterium can get to other foods through the board and cause foodborne diseases.

Now, cleaning a cutting board that you use to cut raw meat on is quite simple. It’s important to be careful enough not to contaminate other foods. We’ll talk about some ways on how to clean a cutting board after cutting raw meat in this guide.

How to Clean Cutting Board After Cutting Raw Meat

Let’s talk about some ways you can follow while cleaning your cutting board after using raw meat. The cleaning process for plastic, wooden, and bamboo boards is almost similar, except that you have to be careful with bamboo boards. They can’t withstand baking soda for long, and it will damage the coating.

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Although you can use dish soap or commercially available cleaners to clean your cutting board after using it for cutting meat, there are some health risks.

The problem with wood and bamboo-based boards is that they have microscopic holes on the surface, and as you use chemical detergents to clean them, the droplets of the chemical compounds reach inside the holes, and it’s not easy to get them out.

Later on, the cleaner can contaminate the food you’ll cut on the board through the porous surface. A good solution to this problem can be using a food-grade cleaner. Baking soda is a good option as it’s safe to consume and doesn’t pose health risks.

Create a mixture of baking soda water by taking a few tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with a gallon of water. Soak your board in a water mixture for several minutes and rinse it off.

Try to use baking soda less often, if possible. This chemical doesn’t suit well with wood tempering and will damage the board quickly. If you have a bamboo board, then it’s probably best to avoid using baking soda on them. Baking soda destroys bamboo coatings.

Deodorizing with Lemon

Meat has a pungent smell. If you use your meat cutting board to cut vegetables and fruits, too, then you can deodorize the board with a lemon or vinegar rub after use. This will help the board rid itself of the foul meat smell so it can’t stink out the fresh vegetables and fruits.

Oil Coating

Oil coating will help your board in two ways: first, it will create a waterproof barrier around the board to stop bacteria from entering through the porous surface. And secondly, it will help the board rinse itself off easily.

Considerations While Cleaning a Cutting Board after Cutting Meat

Wood chunks get chemically treated before they’re made into a cutting board. When you wash your board in water, the chemical, along with the board glue, gets dissolved little by little. The more water exposure it gets, the faster it loses the treating compounds.

You should try to avoid soaking your wooden cutting board in the sink or using it in the dishwasher. And you can use hot water to clean it, but it should be quick, plus the board should be rinsed and dried off as soon as possible to ensure less water exposure time.

Some people like to use 2 cutting boards. They use one for cutting meat and poultry-based items and the other for cutting everything else. This saves a lot of cleaning hassle since the other board is always free from meat smell and won’t need regular baking soda or soap cleaning.


Hopefully, you got some ideas on how to clean a cutting board after cutting raw meat now. Whatever you use to clean your cutting board, don’t make the mixture too thick if you use something harsh: baking soda, bleach. They will damage the coating, so the less you can use them, the better.

However, it’s not necessary that you give your boards a thoroughly clean wash every time you cut meat on them. A quick hot water rinse is enough for the most part. But a thorough wash is good once in a while to kill the bacterial grounds off of the board.

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