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Cleaning spoons
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Mike bievenour
(mrbieven) - F
Cleaning spoons on 05/01/2012 04:46:41 MDT Print View

What is the recommended way to clean spoons using the Freezer bag method of eating dinner.
Is it ok to have the boys clean them in their mouths. Bag them up and then at the next meal stick them in boiling water for a minute or is there another way.
I have parents saying that their child got sick after the last campout because of not using soap.
Please help.

Donald Howard
(DonH) - F
Cleaning Spoons on 05/01/2012 05:57:03 MDT Print View

Last year for over 5 months I hiked the Appalachian Trail and I did exactly what you described almost every day and never got sick.
Also what I did during that trip was to always use hand sanitizer before eating and using the bathroom and never shared food with other hikers. Passing the trail mix bag around with everyone licking their fingers after each helping is the fastest way to get sick on the trail.

In my opinion Freezer Bag cooking is the most sanitary way for a crew to cook on the trail. You're cooking and eating out of disposable, one use containers. Certainly boiling spoons in the water before rehydrating your meals should be very effective.

Look at other factors before assuming your cooking method is at fault.

Glenn Smith

Locale: Southern Arizona
Re: Cleaning spoons on 05/01/2012 09:50:17 MDT Print View


Keep in mind that your dealing with youth. I suggest having some hot water in your pot with a few drops of Campsuds. Clean and air dry the spoons. Use an extremely small piece of Scotchbrite pad (you can bring two ~ one for each week). Sump the water and sanitize as part of the next meal. Keep it simple but safe.


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Cleaning spoons. Or not. on 05/01/2012 10:22:01 MDT Print View

It is easy to blame a Scoutmaster for not having hot soapy water and two-stage, scalding rinse tubs.

It is harder to admit you've raise a 'tweener who can't competently wash off fecal residue (or at least kill the bacteria in the residue with a hand sanitizer).

But the later scenerio is MUCH more likely.

Hand wash stations on the return route from the outhouse or latrine are very helpful. More so if supervised and policed for compliance. Foot-operated water pump with soap then hand sanitizer is what 16-day Colorado River trips use to stay well because of the remoteness and long-term "groover" use. (you do it into a rocket box and pack it with you).

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
I'm with David on this. on 05/01/2012 11:42:06 MDT Print View

Your SPL should find a local person who would be willing to teach or better yet demonstrate hand washing and food handling to the troop.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Cleaning spoons on 05/01/2012 11:49:07 MDT Print View

Some would use the 3 pot method of cleaning all cooking gear.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Cleaning spoons on 05/02/2012 08:38:39 MDT Print View

A 2nd vote for the scenario described by David as the more likely root cause.

The whole reason for putting the spoons into boiling water is to sanitize them by killing off any microbes. Think of it as an in the field approximation of the sanitizing rinse that dishwashing machines do (both commercial & home models).

Soup surfactants and/or emulsifiers won't do that.