Cutting boards for food
Research shows that plastic, wooden and glass cutting boards may hide harmful germs. How many germs depends on the type of plastic or wood, grooves in the surface, or direction of the wood fibers. Cleaning practices also affect the number of disease causing germs.
Tips for food safety when using cutting boards:
- Choose a cutting board with a smooth, hard surface. It should be approved for contact with food.
- Replace the cutting board when it has many scratches and grooves.
- Do not chop vegetables or other ready-to-eat foods on a board that was used for meat, unless you wash it first. If possible, always use different boards for meats than what you use for fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat foods.
- Scrape off any stuck food and scrub all cutting boards completely with hot soapy water after each use. Dishwashers are usually very good cleaners, but thin plastic or wooden boards may be damaged.
- Sanitize cutting boards from time-to-time with a mixture of one teaspoon of bleach ("Hilex" that you can find in the laundry section at the store) to 4 cups of water. Flood the board with the mixture; let it stand for three minutes. Do not rinse. Allow to air dry before use.
- Let cutting boards dry completely before you put it away.
- Store boards so that they stay clean, dry. Do not store where they could touch raw meat.
The information given in this publication is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by University of Minnesota Extension is implied.
Reviewed 2010 by Kathy Brandt; Suzanne Driessen, 2012.