Oct 25, 2022 - News

How to make your butter board less of a germ fest

A bunch of butter spread on a slab, topped with microgreens.

Photo of a butter charcuterie board with organic honey. Photo: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

🧈 Butter lovers may be tempted to try the new TikTok butter board trend, but public health officials say there are a few things to know first.

Driving the news: On TikTok, #butterboard-hashtagged videos have racked up more than 240 million views in just the last few months.

Catch up quick: Butter board makers slather high-quality butter or soft cheese onto a wooden cutting board and then load it up with fruits, vegetables, edible flowers, spices and condiments.

Yes, but: Sharing food communally concerns some, and Forbes Magazine went so far as to call it "kinda gross."

What they're saying: "Any time numerous people are using bare hands to eat from a shared dish (chips and dips, charcuterie board, etc.), you can increase the risk of spreading germs," said Kate Cole, spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County. It's best, she said, to avoid bare hands touching the spread.

  • Instead, have people use a utensil to scoop the concoction onto individual plates or their carb of choice.
  • Darin Detwiler, an assistant teaching professor of food policy at Northeastern University and an expert on food industry regulation, told the Associated Press he sees a lot of potential pathogens in the cracks of wooden butter boards.
  • "Personally, I would use a plastic board, something that can be sanitized in a dishwasher," he said.
  • He also recommended making many tiny butter boards instead of one big one.

Be smart: The state Department of Health recommends these food safety principles common to all food preparation and consumption.

The bottom line: Think about the potential for unwashed hands and not just the beautiful display.


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