ANSWER: If you heard it on the radio, then it must be true. That’s really not always the case, but in this instance, Sun Spots suspects it is. Actually, according to Reader’s Digest, researchers at the University of Arizona did, in fact, find that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria on it than a toilet seat (most public highway restrooms aside).

The likely reasoning behind this finding is raw meat, which apparently can have certain bacteria on it from when it was processed (butchered) and packaged.

There are a few tips that can help you stay safe from harmful bacteria on cutting boards. The first is use different cutting boards for different types of foods to avoid cross-contamination. Rinse meat before preparing it. And, of course, always sanitize your cutting boards after using them. A bleach solution is one of the best ways to do this. Finally, always allow your cutting board to dry completely before using it again.

There is some debate over whether plastic cutting boards are better to use than wooden cutting boards, but researchers at North Carolina State University say it doesn’t really matter which you use, as long as they are cleaned properly. They do recommend using wooden cutting boards for fruits and vegetables and plastic ones for meat, but only because it is somewhat easier to clean and sanitize plastic cutting boards.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: What happened to “Billy the Exterminator” and “Call of the Wildman?” When can we expect to see them on TV again? — Heather Rose, Norway.

ANSWER: Unfortunately, neither of the animal-control shows will return to your television anytime soon unless some station in the future decides to show reruns of old episodes.

“Billy the Exterminator” produced six seasons on A&E until 2012. Now you can order the series on DVD, or you can watch it on online television services like Hulu.com or Amazon. Also, Billy’s brother Ricky, who appeared alongside Billy in the reality series, now hosts a web series on YouTube called “Vexcon the Exterminators.”

“Call of the Wildman” aired on Animal Planet, but seems to not be on their current programming schedule, even in rerun form, though you can watch old episodes online at animalplanet.com. The show produced four seasons until 2014. Since the taping of the last season that aired, legal issues seem to have put a halt to production.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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