A woman on TikTok has been trolled for claiming that the average cutting board has “200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat.”
@np.miranda Needless to say, I was really grossed out when I found out this fact so here is an easy way to clean your cutting board! ##woodencuttingboardcleaning##woodencuttingboard##diy##germs##germsbegone##viral##fyp ♬ Begin The Beguine – Artie Shaw
The controversial video was posted by TikTok user Miranda (@np.Miranda), an aesthetic nurse practitioner. “This average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat,” she wrote in her video’s text overlay, as she showed herself cleaning a wooden cutting board.
“Needless to say, I was really grossed out when I found out this fact so here is an easy way to clean your cutting board!” she captioned the video. Her hack involved mixing together sea salt, vinegar, and lemon, and scrubbing the cutting board for five minutes before rinsing.
Miranda’s video reached over 1.7 million views by Tuesday. But in the comments, people were skeptical that her claim was accurate.
“How are you getting fecal matter on your chopping board,” one user wrote.
“Are people sh*tting on their cutting boards?? Like how I don’t believe that,” another wrote.
Many trolled Miranda by leaving sarcastic comments. “I just use my toilet seat as cutting board,” this user commented. “200 times less bacteria than my chopping boards.”
Are cutting boards dirtier than a toilet seat?
Miranda’s claim that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat comes from Charles Gerba, PhD, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. He’s been studying bacteria contamination in homes since 1973.
In 2014, he and his team studied 82 hand towels from homes across the United States and Canada to determine how much bacteria these household items harbored. Coliform bacteria were detected in 89.0% of towels, and E. coli was found in 25.6% of towels.
Through his work, he’s found that cutting boards aren’t much cleaner. “In most cases, it’s safer to make a salad on a toilet seat than it is to make one on a cutting board,” Dr. Gerba said, according to Food and Wine.
As for where this bacteria is coming from, Dr. Gerba explains, “There are 200 times more fecal bacteria from raw meat on the average cutting board in a home than a toilet seat. Most people just rinse their cutting board, but poultry and raw meat can leave behind salmonella and campylobacter.”
When you use a knife on a cutting board, it can leave behind grooves where the bacteria can live and breed. For hygiene, these knife cuts should be sanded down or replaced.
How do you sanitize a cutting board?
Some commenters were also skeptical about Miranda’s cutting board hack. One user argued, “Lemon and salt are definitely not ‘sanitizing’ anything lol would u want ur doctor putting lemon and salt on his hands before surgery?”
Although many sources recommend lemon juice for cleaning cutting boards or killing bacteria on raw meat and produce, studies have found that it’s not an effective sanitizer. One study from Drexel University and the University of Maryland concludes, “Neither an acidic wash nor marinade can guarantee the elimination of microbial contamination.”
According to Dr. Gerba, it’s recommended to wash cutting boards with a kitchen disinfectant or put them into the dishwasher. He also recommends using one cutting board for meat and another for vegetables, to prevent cross-contamination.
The Daily Dot contacted Miranda via TikTok comment.