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Wood or Plastic???

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Forum topic by Nubsnstubs posted 08-03-2018 12:07 AM 862 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nubsnstubs

1577 posts in 2146 days


08-03-2018 12:07 AM

Saw this today. https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/tipsandtricks/wood-vs-plastic-cutting-boards-which-you-should-buy-for-your-kitchen/ar-BBLnejT?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=LENOVODHP15

If it’s old stuff and you already know it, my apologies. If you haven’t seen it before and didn’t know, then read through it.

I always thought wood wasn’t a very good material for cutting boards in this day and age, but not according to this article.

So now, I’m gonna hafta finish mine…......... ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com


9 replies so far

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Woodknack

12842 posts in 2796 days


#1 posted 08-03-2018 12:41 AM

Yep, plastic has to be sterilized but wood will sterilize itself. I’ve been to remote hunting and fishing locations where all the cleaning and butchering was done on wood tables that were rinsed with whatever water was available but never washed or sterilized. Week after week during the season, no trouble at all.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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runswithscissors

3052 posts in 2441 days


#2 posted 08-03-2018 01:46 AM

I’ve been “forgetting” to sanitize my wooden cutting boards for years. Just scrub them with a stiff brush and detergent. No problems.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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John Smith

1873 posts in 579 days


#3 posted 08-03-2018 12:18 PM

Jerry – this topic reached governmental levels a few years ago (National Sanitation Foundation)
saying that wood has the natural germ killing abilities and plastic actually promoted bacterial growth.
then – reversed itself saying it is not the board but the sanitation habits of the users.
with education and a few bouts of food borne intestinal issues, we have learned to keep our
kitchen utensils clean and wash our hands after handling raw meats. (and after going to the bathroom).
so just make your gorgeous wood cutting boards the best way that you see fit
and don’t pay any attention to the governmental hype !!!

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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Wildwood

2670 posts in 2551 days


#4 posted 08-03-2018 01:00 PM

Think all about who uses the cutting board or personal preference. Like the article says:

“Bottom line, I recommend having both wood & plastic cutting boards in your kitchen and using them accordingly.” They will complement each other.

Know we have both kinds of boards and used for different kinds of cutting. Cannot tell you how many plastic boards & styles have own over the years. We have an assortment of both!

-- Bill

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ChefHDAN

1415 posts in 3266 days


#5 posted 08-03-2018 02:20 PM

Ahem, Pardon me, (stepping onto soapbox)...
35 years in the trade of preparing food and serving it to people in multiple states along the gulf and east coast. Certified in multiple jurisdictions and certified to train and proctor exams for the ServSafe food handlers program from the National Restaurant Association.

In the industry, we do not “sterilize” anything, we sanitize by various chemical or temperature methods to reduce the levels of pathogens on a surface or item below a level that is “safe” to prevent the possibilities of causing a food borne illness. Sterilization is a reduction of pathogens to zero, and is pointless in a food service environment as the items are not enclosed in a sterilized wrapper to prevent any pathogens contacting the sterilized item.

Bacteria and pathogen growth are controlled by controlling FAT TOM, Food, Acidity, Time, Temperature, Oxygen, and Moisture. In the case of cutting boards wood vs. plastic, the last two items are the key elements to good board sanitation. All boards whether wood or plastic, need to be scrubbed with soap and water and then stored in a manner so that there is ample air space for the surfaces to dry thoroughly. Any boards washed and then stacked while wet will promote the growth of pathogens, and molds. The weakness of the plastic boards is that when they get scarred from use the crevices and micro crevices can trap moisture that pathogens need to propagate. Wooden cutting boards have the ability to wick away moisture leaving none for the pathogens.

In my commercial kitchens, plastic boards are submerged in an Ammonium Quaternary sanitizing solution and/or run through a commercial dish machine with a final rinse temperature above 180f, and then racked to allow full drying before stacking/storing. Wooden boards, are scrubbed with soap and water, rinsed thoroughly and allowed to fully dry. 90% of work is done on polypropylene cutting boards with wood mostly being used for display carving or food display. For a very long time all wooden tools, including spoons, were absolutely prohibited for commercial food use. Following the determination by the NSF that wooden items are able to deny moisture for the growth of pathogens many jurisdictions lifted the prohibition. Ironically when the wooden tools were banned, white rubber spatulas were used instead and they would actually be melted into the foods being prepared at high temperatures, and nowadays there are high temperature silicone spatulas but neither works as well as a good wooden utensil.

In my kitchen at home 90% of the work is done on this wooden board and I have 2 or 3 plastic boards that are used for raw meat fabrication. To go a step further, on the white plastic boards, I use a sharpie to put a large C in one corner to designate that that is the cooked or ready to eat (RTE), food side, so that in the event that I have multiple persons helping prep, salad or any item going from the board into someones mouth is not prepared on a surface that has been used to fabricate raw meats.

For cleaning my boards at home, (I wish I had made the wooden board smaller to fit the sink, but I’m about to get a bigger sink), I use soap and water to scrub the wooden board, rinse it well and allow to dry. Once a month I’ll soak the top with block oil and let it sit for a day. For the plastic boards, they also get scrubbed with soap and water, and since they fit the dish washer, and since I have a high temperature setting on the machine that I have verified gets above 180f I use that whenever I fabricate chicken/poultry or ground meats. Before upgrading the machine I would use a 10% bleach solution to chemically sanitize the boards. Mix water & bleach 10:1, apply to surfaces allow to sit for 60 seconds, rinse and allow to fully dry. Note the bleach solution degrades over time and is essentially useless after 24 hours.

Overall, the greatest danger in the kitchen to cause a food borne illness is at the end of everyone’s arms. Hand washing is the greatest defense to serve safe food, water as hot as you can take, soap (don’t waste $$ on antibacterial soap) wash hands for the length of time to say the ABC’s twice, dry hands on a clean paper towel and then use the towel to turn off the faucet.

End of rant… well maybe, because then there are gloves…. they tend to lull the users into thinking they have magic powers to repel bacteria, IE, “hey Bob, go wash your hands, you just took out the trash!”, “It’s okay Chef, I’ve got gloves on”...... anybody have a job for Bob? he doesn’t work in my kitchens anymore….

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Nubsnstubs

1577 posts in 2146 days


#6 posted 08-03-2018 04:11 PM



Ahem, Pardon me, (stepping onto soapbox)...
35 years in the trade of preparing food and serving it to people in multiple states along the gulf and east coast. Certified in multiple jurisdictions and certified to train and proctor exams for the ServSafe food handlers program from the National Restaurant Association. ng none for the pathogens.

In my commercial kitchens, plastic boards are submerged in an Am nd allowed to fully dry. 90% of work is done on polypropylene cutting boards with wood mostly be ally be melted into the foods being prepared at high temperatures, and nowadays there are high temperature silicone spatulas but neither works as well as a good wooden utensil. n t waste $$ on antibacterial soap) wash hands for the length of time to say the ABC s twice, dry hands on a clean paper towel and then use the towel to turn off the faucet.

End of rant… well maybe, because then there are gloves…. they tend to lull the users into thinking they have magic powers to repel bacteria, IE, “hey Bob, go wash your hands, you just took out the trash!”, “It s okay Chef, I ve got gloves on”...... anybody have a job for Bob? he doesn t work in my kitchens anymore….

- ChefHDAN

CD, that’s not a soapbox, it’s more like a platform. haha I don’t consider it a rant. It’s called education. Thanks for posting the info that you did. It was appreciated.

As far as me posting this article, I did it just because I could. I made my first cutting board from Walnut way back in ‘72?, and it’s still around. Then in ‘78, my next board was end grain Red Oak. Since then, I’ve made Maple end and flat grain boards, Alder, and everything in between. I have had only one split about 2”. Alder end grain 3” thick x 16×24. It is used daily by my sister’s wife and is taken very good care of. It split because she left something, probably a glass with ice in it on it for a few hours. The glass did the sweat thing, the wood did it’s thing and sucked up the moisture, and split…..OH well…...... Jerry(in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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ChefHDAN

1415 posts in 3266 days


#7 posted 08-03-2018 05:49 PM

Thanks Jerry, If I had the time I could likely repair a dozen boards a year because of the damned heat lamps that get used over carving boards. If they would just use the light when the foods on them there would be a lot less, but time and again I’ll walk into a buffet space and the front of house staff have the stations set and the lights are on heating up the boards. Or, there are the lazy temp workers that run a wooden board through the dish machine because they don’t get paid to think. My regular teams know better, (i.e. they know I’ll go bat$hit on them) but I’ve likely got at least two cracked Boos Blocks out in the shop that I “should” saw apart and fix but…. squirrel!!!!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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CWWoodworking

528 posts in 595 days


#8 posted 09-06-2018 04:00 AM

I made a poplar cutting board about 15 years ago. Still using it today. Waxed it when it was new and that’s about it. If its looking “dry”, I will throw some bacon on it after frying. Or tear apart a pork butt on it and let the fat seal it.

Chicken get cut on it at least 2x a week. A long with pork, beef, and all the veggies for supper. Occasionally use it for pizza crust. There is not a day goes by I dont use it for something.

I dont ever get sick(knock on wood), neither does my family.

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ChefHDAN

1415 posts in 3266 days


#9 posted 09-07-2018 07:47 PM

CW, and then there was my G-pa that smoked and drank into his high 90’s. Sometimes knowing too much can be a greater hassle than it’s worth…Stay Healthy!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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