Plastic vs. Wood Cutting Boards
Plastic cutting boards have the seal of approval from research scientists. According to
studies, wood cutting boards were more likely to retain bacteria than plastic cutting
boards, even after a thorough scrubbing with a cleanser. Bacteria can be absorbed into the
pores of wooden cutting boards. Contrary to earlier studies, the bacteria didnt die
in these wooden boards. About 75% of the bacteria lay dormant where they could potentially
contaminate other foods placed on the board.
Here are some guidelines for use of cutting boards:
- Cut meat and poultry on plastic, marble or glass cutting boards with unmarred surfaces.
- Do not chop salad vegetables on a cutting board used to trim raw meat. Avoid cross
contamination by using a separate cutting board for fresh vegetables, fruits, and breads.
- Wash all cutting boards plastic and wooden thoroughly with hot soapy water after
each use. Automatic dishwashers are very effective cleaners for most cutting boards;
however, thin plastic or wooden boards may be damaged by dishwashers.
- Discard cutting boards with deep grooves or cuts that can harbor bacteria. Foodborne
illness outbreaks have been attributed to using wooden cutting boards in food
- Sanitize cutting boards occasionally with a solution of two teaspoons chlorine bleach
per quart of water. Flood the board with the solution, let it stand a few minutes and
rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
Source: University of Minnesota Extension
Service, InfoU Script
Glenda I. Kinder, KinderG@missouri.edu
Nutrition and Health Education, Information Technology
Clay County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension