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How To Clean Knife After Cutting Raw Chicken

How To Clean Knife After Cutting Raw Chicken: Full Guide

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Shari Mason

Based on the estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people get sick each year because of foodborne illnesses.

And one of the main causes of that is the cross-contamination caused by your kitchen tools.

Unclean knives can make you sick by transferring bacteria from raw or uncooked chicken to other ingredients.

So, how would you clean your knife after cutting raw chicken? Here are the most important things to remember when cooking meat next time.

4 Ways To Clean Knife After Cutting Raw Chicken (Most-Effective)

cleaning knife

1. Wash It By Hand Every After Use

Instead of using dishwater, you should wash the knife by hand after cooking. By doing that, the cleaning solution could remove any leftovers from the raw meat and kill any bacteria. 

After washing and soaking, rinse the knife with warm, clean water. Then, use a clean kitchen towel to wipe the blade dry. 

Nevertheless, cleaning other kitchen tools after every use prevents bacteria and viruses from spreading to your food. 

2. Use Dish Soap & Hot Water

Cleaning kitchen utensils with hot soapy water does not kill bacteria [1].

A dish soap is good for removing any physical residue, but it won’t be able to wash away the remaining bacteria like salmonella, commonly found in raw poultry.

You can remove other stubborn food residues by soaking the knife in hot water for at least 2 to 10 minutes.

3. Try Some Diluted Bleach

Using a diluted bleach solution to clean your knives is an important process that you should not skip. 

It is common in professional kitchens, killing 99% of the harmful bacteria and reducing foodborne illness-causing pathogens that can survive in kitchen tools.

You can swipe the blade with the diluted bleach or briefly soak it for at least one minute.

4. Dry Knife After Rinsing

Thoroughly rinse your knife after cleaning it with soapy water and sanitizing it with bleach. Then start drying the knife with a paper towel or any clean cloth.

Leaving the knife to air dry would make the blade rust and dull faster due to oxidation. It may also lead to germ build-up, which can be transferred to your food. 

In addition, for a knife made of carbon steel, you can coat the blade with mineral oil after wiping it clean to prevent corrosion. 

Why Should You Clean Knife After Cutting Raw Chicken?

You should properly clean your knife after you cut raw chicken because it may lead to foodborne illnesses. A chef’s knife is among the most commonly used cooking utensils. 

We use it to cut meat, dice fruits or vegetables, and chop spices.

Most of the time, we do all of that using the same board, which leads some bacteria to get accidentally transferred between foods. 

Can Bleach Damage My Knife?

Yes, bleach can damage the knife when overused. Knives are usually made of stainless steel because it is resistant to water and humidity. However, a diluted solution at 1:10 and 1:50 can damage stainless steel utensils. 

But using the right amount can help kill viruses and bacteria in the blade after cutting raw meat and other cooking ingredients.

More importantly, it should be used with caution as it can irritate or burn your skin.

How To Sanitize Knife After Using It In Raw Chicken

knife on the sink

Sanitize your knife using diluted bleach solution after cutting raw meat. Soak the knife in one teaspoon of bleach and one-quart water for around sixty seconds.

But remember to do it after cleaning your knife with soap to remove any food debris. Keep your knife clean, as it is your most used cooking tool when preparing food. 

Kitchen Knife Hygiene Tips & Tricks

  • Clean knives immediately using dish soap, hot water, or any cleaning solution after cutting raw meat. 
  • Ensure that you properly dry the knife before putting it on a knife block or drawer. 
  • When handling raw meat, wash your hands thoroughly, along with other tools like cutting boards, to avoid unwanted events like food poisoning. 
  • Only use kitchen knives for food and avoid opening cans and boxes or hammering through frozen foods because it can dull or twist the blade [2]

Will Rinsing a Knife Prevent Cross Contamination?

No, rinsing a knife alone does not help avoid cross-contamination. When you cut raw meat, beef, or fish using the same knife and cutting board, some microorganisms will be transmitted from one food to another. 

When handling raw meat or other cooking ingredients, clean your knife with soap and sanitize it with bleach. It helps prevent anyone from getting sick.

Can I Clean Knife In A Dishwasher?

No, you can not clean a knife in a dishwasher because the high temperatures will damage the knife handle.

“By far the worst thing you can do to your knives is to wash them in the dishwasher.”

– Danilo Alfaro, Former Private Chef

Another thing is how the water from the dishwasher will cause bacteria build-up by oversaturating your knife handle.

FAQs

What kills raw chicken bacteria?

Sanitizing knives with bleach can help kill raw chicken bacteria. Do it after you cook to prevent cross-contamination. 

Can I use a sponge to clean the knife after cutting raw chicken?

Yes, you can use a sponge with dish soap and warm water to clean the knife after using it to cut raw meat.

Exercise extra caution when cleaning your knife blade. You can hold it against the sink or start from the spine to the edge for more protection.

What temperature kills bacteria on knives?

The number of bacteria will significantly reduce on knives when immersed in hot water of 180°F. On the contrary, bacteria grows best between 40°F to 140°F or “The Danger Zone.” 

Can you boil a knife to clean it?

Yes, you can clean your knife with boiling water. Use tongs when dipping the knife into the hot water, and do it for a few minutes.

When must a knife be sanitized?

Cooking knives should be sanitized after every use. You can cut raw meat with a different knife and use another knife for other ingredients.

The Bottom Line

  • Whenever you cook, ensure that your knives and cutting boards stay clean, especially after cutting raw meat.
  • If possible, don’t use the same knife when cutting various cooking ingredients to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Always remember to clean the knife first before sanitizing it. Then, ensure that it is dry before storing it in a proper drawer.
  • Proper hygiene ensures that the knife remains sharp and durable for a long time. 

References:

  1. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/08/27/clean-then-sanitize-one-two-punch-stop-foodborne-illness-kitchen
  2. https://www.gearpatrol.com/home/a693718/how-to-maintain-a-chefs-knife/
Shari Mason

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