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Wooden Spoons - death traps?

 
 
smorgs
 
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:23 pm
I am well aware this is a bit of a trite question...but

I was making a curry the other day and my daughter commentated on the age of my wooden spoons...you know how you keep things for years without noticing how old they are...well she said I should use teflon or plastic ones as they are more hygenic!

But I'm sure that I heard that wood has natural antiseptic properties.

Should I throw them away?

Are they bad?

Does the natural antiseptic thing wear off after time?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 12,770 • Replies: 38
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:26 pm
You have probably kissed someone in their filthy human mouth and have possibly engaged in oral sex and maybe shared a joint with someone and you're worried about wooden spoons?
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loislane17
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:29 pm
Far as I know with wood--and I'm dealing with some of my grandmother's wooden spoons still--one of the newer maxim's is "never mix, never worry"

This is because when using a wooden cutting board, for instance, with raw meat, it can get ugly in there. I have only used my wooden one for vegetables.

But spoons are used more in cooking, where temps are hot, and they can get more thoroughly washed than boards do...so, off hand, I'd vote for use them!

As to the natural antiseptic, I have a feeling that wears off rather quickly!

All of this is said boldly without ANY evidence getting in the way.
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smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:30 pm
Laughing

...yes but, apart from persuing a lifestyle based on sex, drugs, rock and roll then more sex...

...I am also very houseproud!
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smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:33 pm
I use acrylic colour coded chopping boards, but I felt I'd been insulted in my own kitchen, by my own daughter, at the suggestion that my wooden spoons were a danger to her health...the cheek of it!

Like I said to her:

"When did you last come down with the Ebola Virus?"
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:35 pm
For many years I used wooden spoons for mixing until the plastic ones were invented. Instead of throwing the wooden ones out, I kept them for stirring wall paint.

I would think that washing wooden spoons in a dishwasher would keep them germ free.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:36 pm
I think I've read that plastic cutting boards, for example, are less than hygenic because the cuts hold and foster bacterial growth, and that wood boards somehow don't.

I don't understand so much fright about bacteria in general. Bacteria are all around us, and only a relative few are pathogenic. It's true that drippings from uncooked chicken, and some raw eggs could contain pathogens, but generally one cooks the chickens and the eggs, and washes the utensils that may have touched them fairly swiftly.

I've never gotten sick from my own cooking, and I've used wooden spoons for decades - heh, sometimes the same wooden spoons, as they tend to last.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:40 pm
If you wash your wooden spoons in the dishwasher, you'll kill any germs.

I went off and did some research about the whole wooden vs. plastic for cutting boards. The consensus I found was to wash them in the dishwasher!
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smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:42 pm
er...scuse me...I'm English, the only dishwasher I have is Mr Smorgs! :wink:
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loislane17
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:44 pm
Mac saves the day with...research!

Whew...not that I planned to toss my granma's spoons no matter what!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:45 pm
Just thinking, how a plastic spoon compares to a handmade olivewood one.

I'm still using some of my grandmother's - at least more than 100 years old by now.
Just cleaning them in dishwater makes them as "anti-septic" as anything else you clean.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:47 pm
smorgs wrote:

Like I said to her:

"When did you last come down with the Ebola Virus?"


My sentiments exactly.

I also agree with Ossobuco:

Quote:
I don't understand so much fright about bacteria in general. Bacteria are all around us, and only a relative few are pathogenic. It's true that drippings from uncooked chicken, and some raw eggs could contain pathogens, but generally one cooks the chickens and the eggs, and washes the utensils that may have touched them fairly swiftly.


As a society we have become so paranoid about natural bacterias that we're sanitizing ourselves into huge increases in the number of asthma cases as well as the number of allergies. The fewer natural germs we expose ourselves to the easier it is to become sick.

*end of rant*

I use my 20 year old wooden spoons all the time.
0 Replies
 
smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:50 pm
Mr Smorgs says I show my obsessive/compulsive streak by the way I wash up.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 12:50 pm
smorgs wrote:
er...scuse me...I'm English, the only dishwasher I have is Mr Smorgs! :wink:


Then Mr. Smorgs needs to wear rubber gloves so he can wash the spoons in extremly hot water.....surely you have some rubber gloves lying around.....I'm assuming you and Mr. Smorgs occasionally like to play "The Sorority Girl And The Gynecologist"....it's a favorite at the Bear household....
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:00 pm
If you're serious about getting things clean, read this:

From http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arch/9_14_96/bob2.htm

The good news is that kitchen germs can usually be removed by some method of cleansing. On metal surfaces, Zottola says, detergent dissolves the food and microbial material. A good rubbing then forcibly evicts most of the squatters. A follow-up, sanitizing rinse--such as a solution of dilute bleach (hypochlorous acid)--will annihilate even the most tenacious hangers-on, he's found. To deter recolonization, the cleansed surfaces must stay dry.

Wood requires a different sterilization regime, Zottola points out, because its organic building blocks will react with bleach, rendering the disinfectant unavailable for killing germs. As a result, cooks have had to be satisfied with just bathing their wooden cutting boards.

In the January 1994 Journal of Food Protection, Cliver and his colleagues showed that it is possible, using soap and water, to hand scrub microbes from the surface of new or used wooden cutting boards and from new plastic ones. Plastic boards that bore the knife scars of use, however, proved resistant to decontamination by hand washing.

Bacteria below the surface of a wooden board are untouched by hand scrubbing and can remain alive at least several hours. Even though at that location they can't contaminate other foods that may contact the board, it remains prudent to kill them, says Cliver, now at UC-Davis.

In a pair of papers to be published in the Journal of Food Protection, Cliver and Paul K. Park report success in annihilating E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus with microwave heating. They contaminated wooden cutting boards with 1 billion colony-forming units per 25 square centimeters of surface and then cooked the boards on high heat in an 800-watt home microwave oven.

After 10 minutes, a medium-sized board emerged bone dry--and free of live microbes both on and below the surface. Wetting the board speeded the killing, suggesting that the microbes probably boiled to death.

The microwave can also disinfect other kitchen items. Sterilizing dry cellulose sponges took a mere 30 seconds, while wet sponges took 1 minute. Cotton dishrags required 30 seconds when dry but 3 minutes when wet.

No amount of microwaving disinfected plastic boards. That's not surprising, Cliver notes, since their surfaces never achieved cell-killing temperatures. However, studies by others have shown that the normal cycle in a dishwasher can sterilize even well-used plastic boards.

Whether you use wood or plastic cutting boards becomes unimportant at home if you are into cleaning and sanitizing--as all cooks should be, Batt argues.

Many people, however, aren't. A study published last year by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration found that 26 percent of U.S. consumers don't bother to clean cutting boards after using them for raw meat or chicken.
0 Replies
 
smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:04 pm
I am smorgs...why would I not have rubber gloves...I love the smell of latex in the morning...

Dishwashers are for pussies, might have known the Yanks invented them...lazy buggers!

You'll be telling me next that you don't empty your damp tea leaves on the carpet and give it a good stiff brushing!

Bear, your being very naughty tonight...I like it...smut and domestics...my favourite topics!

Somebody tell me to stop using bloody dots...all the time!
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:06 pm
smorgs wrote:
Mr Smorgs says I show my obsessive/compulsive streak by the way I wash up.


That's squinney...if someone takes a dump in Europe or Japan squinney has to wash her hands with antibacterial soap in North Carolina......drives me nuts.....
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loislane17
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:09 pm
Smorgs...who knew...an ellipsisaholic... Tragic!
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smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:09 pm
Thank you Mac11, most informative Very Happy
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loislane17
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 01:10 pm
Mac11, you rock. I cut and pasted it into another doc for my housemate who sometimes scares me with kitchen cleaning!
0 Replies
 
 

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