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View Full Version : Disinfecting a Wooden Board



rancho
05-01-2011, 07:51 PM
I accidentally left a window open last night and a charming possum (annoying native australian marsupial!) decided to empty its bladder on my chopping board. Having never had to thoroughly disinfect an end grain board before, I'm wondering if anyone has some tips for food safe chemicals I could use. I didn't really want to go soaking it in bleach or something without a bit of research :)

Thanks for the help.

SpikeC
05-01-2011, 07:55 PM
Shoot it.

FryBoy
05-01-2011, 08:35 PM
I don't think disinfecting is really the problem here -- you can do that by simply washing the board in hot water and dishwasher detergent, letting it dry thoroughly, and then spraying it with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, letting it set for an hour or so, and then drying it with paper towels.

The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.

Pensacola Tiger
05-01-2011, 08:49 PM
I don't think disinfecting is really the problem here -- you can do that by simply washing the board in hot water and dishwasher detergent, letting it dry thoroughly, and then spraying it with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, letting it set for an hour or so, and then drying it with paper towels.

The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.

+1000

Dave Martell
05-01-2011, 08:57 PM
The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.


I'm going to have agree with this.

SpikeC
05-01-2011, 09:02 PM
I'm really trying hard to think of some way to salvage this board. Really hard.

rancho
05-01-2011, 09:08 PM
Shoot it.

unfortunately they're protected and from memory it's up to $140,000 fine for killing one (which is about $200,000 US atm :P)

FryBoy, that's somewhat the advice I expected, thanks for the rational thoughts. Sadly it's only about 2 months old too :(

Rottman
05-01-2011, 09:10 PM
Take a few mm's off the board with a beltsander or have someone do it for you. Maybe this helps with the memory-thing.

Andrew H
05-01-2011, 09:27 PM
I'm going to have to go without everyone else... and now that we have mentioned it, there is no way you will get it out of your head!

P.S.
I thought the conversion rate was almost 1:1? Is that not true anymore?

Eamon Burke
05-01-2011, 10:11 PM
Take the board, wash it thoroughly with very hot water and the aforementioned disinfecting process(vinegar/etc). Sunlight has been shown to disinfect like nothing else can. If you wash a board with white vinegar, then expose it to direct sunlight, there will be little or NO bacterial colonies.

Then, sand it down a bit, then get it wet, let it air dry a bit, and sand it to a really fine finish. oil it(or wax it or whatever you do), and leave it outside in a shady area for a day or so. Then bury it in the dirt for 24 hours(so long as it's not wet dirt...sandy soil is best, we had very sand soil where I grew up). Wash all the dirt off, clean it and oil it, and you're good to go. Board reborn.

No need to toss it!

99Limited
05-01-2011, 10:23 PM
Moisture doesn't move very far into wood. You could submerge your board in water for 24hrs, cut it in half and you would find that the water only penetrated a few mm. So what I'd do is find someone with a wood planer and remove 3-4mm off the top. Maybe there's a custom cabinet shop close to you that would do it.

MikeZ
05-01-2011, 10:54 PM
it depends on if you can get over it or not. If you think sanding and resealing it sanatizing it will be fine if your always gonna think possum piss then dump it... maybe ebay hehe

Rottman
05-01-2011, 10:59 PM
maybe ebay hehe

Unique custom cutting board, natural finish?

JohnnyChance
05-01-2011, 11:00 PM
sell it to johndoughy or 99limited

Dave Martell
05-01-2011, 11:04 PM
Unique custom cutting board, natural finish?

:happy2:

UnConundrum
05-01-2011, 11:09 PM
Wait !!!! Possums are protected ?????? Poor Granny's going to jail (Beverly Hillbillies for those of you who might remember)! I can't believe there's a place where they're endangered. I'd send you some to make up for killing that one, but I can't believe they're even worth the postage.

FryBoy
05-02-2011, 12:09 AM
sell it to johndoughy or 99limited

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

FryBoy
05-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Wait !!!! Possums are protected ?????? Poor Granny's going to jail (Beverly Hillbillies for those of you who might remember)! I can't believe there's a place where they're endangered. I'd send you some to make up for killing that one, but I can't believe they're even worth the postage.Different continent, different species.

rancho
05-02-2011, 12:34 AM
there's no shortage of possums, there's dozens that live in the trees in my backyard but they're protected because they're native. they are a pest though, they **** all over my veranda and porch and if you leave anything on the veranda table they'll destroy it trying to get a taste. i've lost MANY wine glasses by being forgetful (after too many wines!). they live all over the suburbs of my home city too (roughly 1 million, so it's not small!).

i had a better look at it, it was around 6am AUS time when I got up saw it and asked advice, but it looks like most of the urine was on my table top and only a smallish area where i don't cut was 'tainted'. i've washed it up, i'll reconsider whether or not i'll use it later. there's no stains on it, so i don't think it's really soaked in.

again, thanks for the advice.

edit - also, with regards to us:au dollar, it briefly hit $1.10 so i'm enjoying it while it lasts :razz:

Eamon Burke
05-02-2011, 01:22 AM
I'll take it if its trash! This is Texas, after all, a cutting board can only go so long without an encounter with a Possum one way or another.
:bbq:

Wait, what's shipping like from Queensland to Texas?

steeley
05-02-2011, 01:25 AM
Possum Piss was my favorite band in college.:lol2:

Vertigo
05-02-2011, 02:19 AM
I can't believe that keeping the board is even an option here. :ohmy:

http://www.souppilgrim.com/orglif/puke1.jpg

unkajonet
05-02-2011, 03:35 AM
Just out of curiosity: is it a custom made board? If it is, I could see trying to find a way to salvage it. If it's one of those "off the rack" boards...

WildBoar
05-04-2011, 09:12 AM
I'm not sure why this is such a big deal if it can be cleaned. I've seen people who routinely changed baby diapers on kitchen counters, and they only 'cleaned up' with some water and maybe a spritz of Fantastic. And some of the fresh produce, etc. has crap from all kinds of animals and bugs that does not get fully cleaned off by a lot of home cooks before it gets consumed.

How can this be worse then eating some peanut butter, which is chock full of bug parts?

mikemac
05-04-2011, 12:10 PM
I'm not sure why this is such a big deal if it can be cleaned.

+1
Unless the board is a POS to begin with, just clean it with a little extra attention, and get on with life. Can you imagine how many times that same possum pissed on your patio furniture, and are you dead yet?

shankster
05-04-2011, 03:33 PM
+1
Unless the board is a POS to begin with, just clean it with a little extra attention, and get on with life. Can you imagine how many times that same possum pissed on your patio furniture, and are you dead yet?

Yes,but he's not cutting food on his patio furniture(I hope) and serving it to his family and friends. Chuck it in the bin.

mr drinky
05-04-2011, 03:39 PM
You could always clean it as people have suggested and then use one of those flexi-mats on top of it. After a while, I bet you will get used to using it again, begin using the board without the mat, and eventually it will lose its stigma. Or you can get another board that is exactly the same, send them both out to be refinished and maybe even change them a bit, and when they come back you wouldn't know which board had the urine on it. You just need to build a proper level of ignorance into your life.

k.

WildBoar
05-04-2011, 06:03 PM
I once saw some dead animal parts on a cutting board -- surely that's worse then just their pee!?! And the poop shoots from a bunch of shrimp! And even a ton of internal fish parts! I don't get it -- is possum pee poisonous? How is it any worse then some of the other things that routinely hit cutting boards?

Eamon Burke
05-04-2011, 08:52 PM
Just what I was saying. Possum's gonna get on the board one way or another, eventually.

rancho
05-04-2011, 10:29 PM
Just out of curiosity: is it a custom made board? If it is, I could see trying to find a way to salvage it. If it's one of those "off the rack" boards...

no, it's not custom. but i'm only 26 and not made of money!


And even a ton of internal fish parts!

good point, i've had plenty of lovely fish innards all over it. i eat kidneys too which process urine... funny the way we categorize things into what is and isn't gross :lol2:

Miles
05-05-2011, 03:46 AM
Just scrub it with a paste of salt and hot water. Rinse well, dry it with paper towels, and then use a bleach solution on it. It will be fine.

Customfan
05-05-2011, 05:39 AM
Was going to say bleach! I disinfect mine regularly (Poly) with a solution, good practice anyway.. don't know what it will do to wood if it stays long.. Good Experience and hell of a story! :rolleyes2:

mikemac
05-05-2011, 11:33 AM
....funny the way we categorize things into what is and isn't gross :lol2:

Ferran Adria would probably turn it into a foam, and sprinkle rabbit rasins on top....$100 a plate

Lefty
05-05-2011, 01:03 PM
No, he'd turn it into something that still looks like a urinated on cutting board, until it hit your tongue. At which point it would turn into a raisin (in foam).
You were close :)