Theoretically, bamboo and wooden chopsticks should be replaced every 3 to 6 months. Chopsticks that are more than 6 months old may breed aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is classified as a category 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. After entering the human body, it is stored in the liver most (5-15 times that of other tissues and organs), so it causes the most damage to the liver.
Although aflatoxin is indeed a part of the cause of liver cancer, the premise is that it needs to reach a certain dose, so there is no need to be too nervous. Of course, in order to reduce this part of the risk, it should be replaced or disinfected regularly and kept hygienic to prevent diseases from entering the mouth. How to tell if the chopsticks should be changed? “Life Times” interviewed experts to teach you a few tricks.
Researcher and doctoral supervisor of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Huo Junsheng
Duan Weihong, Director of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Rocket Army General Hospital
Luo Yunbo, Dean of the School of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University
Xu Wei, member of the Heilongjiang Health Management Society
In these three cases, change your chopsticks quickly
1 Chopsticks discoloration and mildew
After 3-6 months of use, the color of the head of the chopsticks will darken, even if Careful brushing is still the same, this is the color change caused by the long-term accumulation of bacteria.
Before eating, you should carefully observe whether there are spots on the surface of the chopsticks, especially whether there are mildew spots. If there are spots on the chopsticks that are not in the natural color of bamboo or wood, they are probably moldy and cannot be used. Chopsticks that have been discolored and mildewed are likely to have “aflatoxin”, and it is best to replace them as soon as possible.
Whether it is bamboo chopsticks or wooden chopsticks, in order to prolong the service life, manufacturers generally apply a layer on the surface of the chopsticks Edible lacquer-raw lacquer, so that the surface of the chopsticks is not easy to be attached to bacteria.
But if the chopsticks are used for too long, the lacquer on the surface will fall off or be damaged. In addition, the process of frequent use and scrubbing will leave deep and shallow scars on the chopsticks, making the surface of the chopsticks rough and easy to cause Microorganism remains and breeds.
Therefore, if scratches, wear or deformation of chopsticks are found, they must be replaced in time.
3 peculiar smell
The chopsticks are bent or deformed, look damp or smell sour, which are signs of contamination or expiration. continue to use.
What does a pair of healthy chopsticks look like
1 Material: bamboo chopsticks, stainless steel chopsticks are more hygienic
Bamboo chopsticks are made of natural materials and are not easily deformed. Considering safety, hygiene and price, bamboo chopsticks are the best choice.
stainless steel chopsticks are more hygienic. However, the current quality of stainless steel chopsticks is uneven. If the quality is not good, heavy metals may precipitate. Avoid long-term contact with vinegar and salt during use. Do not use cleaning balls or strong acids and alkalis for cleaning, which may cause heavy metals to leach out.
Although the surface of metal chopsticks is also worn out, it is not easy to hide dirt.
In addition, there are many melamine chopsticks on the market, which look similar to plastic. If they are cleaned, the chance of bacteria breeding is small, but you must look for the QS logo when buying, and beware of using urea resin. Counterfeit and inferior products that are not heat resistant and easily release carcinogen formaldehyde.
2 colors: the best choice of primary color
When buying chopsticks, no matter what the material, the most taboo pattern, colorful or uneven surface, It is best to choose chopsticks with primary colors (no color or painting) and one-piece (smooth, non-marked, and non-carved).
This is because the color chopsticks may also cause harmful residues during the dyeing process. Once the pigments fall off and are eaten by mistake, it is not healthy; the uneven surface will hide dirt and become bacteria and molds. Hotbed.
3 lacquered chopsticks are better than “naked color”
Many people think that “naked color” chopsticks are hygienic and environmentally friendly. In fact, if you don’t apply a layer of lacquer, the chopsticks will more easily absorb water, wear and crack, leaving food residues in the crevices and bacteria breeding.
and painted with lacquer, it is like putting a layer of “protective film” on the chopsticks, which can be waterproof.
3 ways to help you extend the “life” of chopsticks
1. Do not bite chopsticks when eating
If the head of the chopsticks is bitten, the grooves on the surface will be stained with many residues, greasy and other dirt. If it is not cleaned, various bacteria and germs will multiply. For example, Helicobacter pylori is the easiest to spread on the chopsticks. Cause gastroenteritis.
2. Don’t fry food with chopsticks for eating
Bamboo and wood chopsticks will be carbonized and blackened after frying, the hardness will become poor, and it will be easy to mold and fall off. Residues, hidden dirt and dirt, and lacquered chopsticks contain heavy metals such as lead and chromium, which may have the risk of heavy metal poisoning and carcinogenesis after frying.
3. Avoid acidic and alkaline cleaning fluids
Clean the chopsticks, do not use alkaline or acidic cleaning fluids such as baking soda, citric acid, etc. to avoid injury The surface of the chopsticks makes the outer waterproof paint peel off.
Cleaning chopsticks like this will make the chopsticks dirty more and more
Many people wash their chopsticks at home very “outrageously”, washing them under the tap and rubbing them , And then insert it into the chopstick holder to wash it. Experts pointed out that in this washing method, chopsticks may not be thoroughly washed, and bacteria will quickly grow.
It is recommended to clean the chopsticks as follows, once every two weeks:
Soak the chopsticks in dish soap for a few minutes, and then rinse them with running water;
put in Disinfect and dry in the disinfection cupboard, or soak the chopsticks in boiling water for about 10 minutes, and drain the water;