Wooden cutting boards have been used by cooks to prepare food for centuries and continue to this day to be used by many. The sturdiness of a wooden cutting board allows the user to carve meats and chop vegetables with ease and confidence. Because they look like a timeworn piece of traditional cooking equipment, wooden cutting boards have a decorative appeal. A wooden cutting board combined with a wooden butcher's block can add rustic charm to any kitchen. However, the concern with using wooden cutting boards has little to with their appearance or ability to provide a safe, secure cutting surface. The main concern is are wooden cutting boards sanitary. The majority of wooden cutting boards are very porous. This means that juices from meats can penetrate the surface and germs could remain in the scars on the board left by knives. To properly clean a wooden cutting board, use hot water and soap, and pat the board dry with a towel or allow it to air dry. There are some solid wood cutting boards that can withstand the dishwashing process, therefore sanitation should not be a concern. To keep a wooden cutting board relatively germ-free, thoroughly clean it using a bleach/water solution or vinegar. Some bacteria may survive the cleaning process, but wood contains natural substances which kill germs. Bacteria for the most part does not like wood, so if there is any bacterial contaminant trapped beneath the surface, it will die quickly. Here are step by step instruction to clean a wooden cutting board:
1. Immediately after using, wipe down the cutting board with a sponge and hot, soapy water. 2. If minor staining has occurred, sprinkle salt on the stained area and rub the area with a lemon wedge. 3. For tougher stains, use an abrasive antibacterial cleaner along with a scouring pad.4. For severe stains, rub the cutting board with fine sandpaper. Rub along the grain of the wood. 5. Rinse the cutting board well.6. Use a clean towel to wipe off excess water and lean the board against a countertop to allow for even drying.
Tips:- Immediately after each use, clean your cutting board. - Use a safe mineral oil to polish your cutting board, which will help to maintain it's attractive finish.- Do not leave a wooden cutting board in standing water because the wood may split.
Plastic cutting boards have a nonporous surface, which means juices from meats and dirt from vegetables will not penetrate into the surface. Plastic cutting boards are commonly dishwasher-safe and are available in a variety of colors and sizes.Cuts made by sharp knives may disappear over time because of the self-healing ability some plastic cutting boards possess. A plastic cutting board can add a bit of a modern, professional look to a kitchen .
Some people claim plastic cutting boards are more sanitary than wooden cutting boards because when using a plastic cutting board meat juices have nowhere to go, and any bacteria will be instantly washed away during the cleaning process. It has also been said by those favoring plastic cutting boards that knives do not cut deep grooves in most plastic cutting boards, which leaves bacteria fewer places to hide.
Whether you decide to use a wooden or a plastic cutting board, you may want to consider some other factors besides sanitation such as appearance and size. When using either a plastic or wooden cutting board, you can reduce the chances of cross-contamination by using different cutting boards for preparing raw meats and vegetables.
Plastic and wooden cutting boards were both designed to protect knives and countertops from damage during food preparation and no matter which one you decide to use there is always the threat of bacteria.