To avoid cross contamination.
Definition: Cross contamination is what happens when bacteria from one food item are transferred to another food item, often by way of unwashed cutting boards or countertops, as well as knives and other kitchen tools, or even unwashed hands. Cross contamination can in turn lead to food poisoning.
Since dangerous bacteria are killed by cooking, the risk of cross contamination is highest where bacteria from a food item that needs to be cooked contaminates a food that doesn't need to be cooked. An example of this type of cross contamination is if a cook were to cut raw chicken on a cutting board and then later slice fresh tomatoes on the same board without washing it first.
Jan 18, 2012 04:16 AM