When preparing ingredients, a clean cutting board is essential for our health and safety. A dirty cutting board can encourage bacterial growth, which not only compromises the flavor of our food but also puts our health at risk.
Because of this, it’s crucial to maintain a clean cutting surface and take the appropriate precautions when alternating between different ingredients. It can be difficult to choose the most hygienic cutting board from all the available options, which range from wooden to plastic to bamboo and everything in between.
You don’t have to hate germs to be worried. In order to identify the most sanitary cutting board and assist you in making your choice, this article will examine the hygienic characteristics of the most popular varieties of cutting boards.
Common types of cutting boards
The majority of users base their decision on the cutting board’s compatibility with their blades. Most people avoid using cutting boards because they cause knives to become dull more quickly.
But the only focus of this essay is on the connection between bacterial growth and sanitization and the cutting surface. Please feel free to read more on our blog as we have a wealth of information to assist you in locating the ideal cutting board that won’t quickly dull your knives while keeping hygiene in mind. Here are the cutting boards that are most frequently used in kitchens, both at home and in restaurants.
Wooden cutting boards are a common sight in kitchens. End grain, edge grain, or face grain are all possible. While there are some key differences between these—which we’ve covered in a previous article—there isn’t much of a difference in terms of sanitation. Without a doubt, wood absorbs liquids and consequently microorganisms. However, investigations have shown that wood sponges trap and ultimately destroy microorganisms.
Pros of wood cutting boards
- gentle on the edges of the blade
- Natural hygienic qualities
Cons of a wood cutting board
- less easy to clean
- extra upkeep is necessary
You probably own a plastic cutting board, despite them not being as common as wooden ones. Plastic cutting boards are lightweight, so you can simply carry them about, even if you only use it to prepare components while the primary one is occupied. This makes it simpler to transfer ingredients. Plastic lacks pores. It is less difficult to clean and doesn’t absorb liquids. These are the key explanations for why many people favor them.
Pros of plastic cutting boards
- simple to clean
Cons of a plastic cutting board
- not the ideal for maintaining a sharp edge?
- readily scratches and reveals knife marks
Over the past ten years, rubber cutting boards have become more and more popular. While being able to resurface by sanding to remove the knife marks, where bacteria would otherwise have a place to grow, the non-porous surface provides no hiding places for bacteria. Cutting boards made of wood are softer on the edges, whereas plastic is harder on the edges.
Pros of rubber cutting boards
- Is resurfaceable
- The majority are dishwasher-safe
- Kinder to the edges of the blade
Cons of a rubber cutting board
- difficult to move around
Bamboo is exceptionally good at keeping fluids and bacteria out since it is dense, similar to walnut and maple wood but on a higher level. Bamboo is lightweight despite being dense and having fibers that are two to three times stronger than those of wood.
a great option for those seeking something strong, light, and natural. These have the disadvantage of being harsher on knife edges and causing them to dull more quickly.
Pros of bamboo cutting boards
- unaffected by warping and cracking
Cons of a bamboo cutting board
- abrasive to knife edges
- Compared to other cutting boards, more glue
Which is the cleaner option?
One must be more hygienic with all these different kinds of cutting boards that are frequently used, right? Depending on how you look at it, there are several answers to this question.
The easiest materials to sanitize would be plastic, rubber, and bamboo. But if you use these three types of cutting boards more, they will become scratched, leaving areas where bacteria can grow.
The same is true for hardwood cutting boards, but they have the advantage of spontaneously closing these gaps, which finally results in bacterial trapping and death.
You might consider resurfacing bamboo, rubber, and plastic cutting boards to block any crevices for bacteria to thrive. However, the effort required would be at least as difficult as conditioning a hardwood cutting board.
This does not exclude the use of a wooden cutting board for the same purpose, though. Although you could resurface it like the others to have a brand-new surface to chop ingredients on, you wouldn’t need to do this as frequently.
Due to these factors, hardwood cutting boards are superior to all others as the most hygienic choice. Despite the fact that wood cutting boards are self-cleaning, you cannot leave them soiled while they wait to be cleaned in the sink like other dishes. Use the right washing procedures to keep it clean; more on that below.
Which kind of cutting board ought to you purchase?
We all have different ideas on what makes a certain item the greatest in the kitchen, as with anything else. Given the information provided above, you may have already chosen the sort of cutting board to purchase. The following two points on hygiene will help you choose the best cutting board.
Easy to clean
The simplicity of cleaning a cutting board is a crucial factor to take into account. Cutting boards vary in how simple or difficult they are to clean. Cutting boards made of wood tend to be more difficult to clean, whether they are end grain, edge grain, or face grain. Furthermore, they are not dishwasher safe. Cutting boards can get warped or damaged very fast due to the severe conditions produced by excessive heat and chemicals.
It makes sense to turn away if you have trouble hand-washing cutting boards because you only have a tiny sink or because you have to clean them in the dishwasher. To maintain your cutting board sterilized and durable, take into account how you prefer to clean it.
Not just our kitchen knives need to be maintained. You’ll need to take care of your cutting boards after repeated use to increase their durability. This includes seasoning a bamboo cutting board, refinishing a rubber cutting board, washing a plastic cutting board with hydrogen peroxide, and conditioning wooden cutting boards with mineral oil.
Whatever cutting board you choose, you’ll always need to perform some upkeep. Some cutting boards will be simpler to maintain, but they’ll still need your time and work. For instance, wood cutting boards require more maintenance but are easier to clean than plastic ones. These should be taken into account if maintenance is a deciding factor for you.
Utilizing several cutting boards
Having more than one cutting board will enable you to benefit from each surface’s best qualities. Whether they are of the same type or not, using more than one cutting board is a wonderful approach to prevent cross-contamination, which involves the movement of bacteria from one area to another.
It is advised to only use one cutting board for the preparation of raw meat, poultry, and fish, and to save the other one for chopping up fresh produce, fruits, and other items. If you can wash the cutting board in between, you don’t necessarily need to do this, but it will take more time and be less handy than using a separate surface for each type of component.
How to Clean a Sanitary Cutting Board?
Using a cutting board cleaner:
A cutting board’s cleanup is not a big concern. You can thoroughly wash your cutting board with hot water and soap if it is not very unclean. Use an abrasive sponge to scrub away any food or juice residue before rinsing. Follow these simple steps to clean your cutting board.
Scrub the cutting board surface with a drop of dishwasher soap and a modest amount of water. If it’s really dirty, a scrub brush or a sponge might be used for this. Brush it evenly, paying close attention to any knife marks.
After rinsing the soap with hot water, dry the board with a fresh kitchen towel.
Be careful not to lay it flat because doing so will cause the board to absorb more moisture. Rather, place the cutting board on its side and give it time to completely dry before using.
It’s that easy to keep a cutting board clean, but if you want to go the extra mile, there are other things you can do.
Wipe your cutting board down with white vinegar or bleach water to completely get rid of all the bacteria. By doing this, harmful microorganisms, including salmonella, listeria, and E. coli, will be eliminated. In addition, you can deodorize your cutting board with lemon to get rid of unpleasant odors.
How Can I Use a Sanitary Cutting Board Properly?
Cutting boards are strong implements that can withstand the majority of anything you can throw at them. It will be quite difficult to harm your cutting board, no matter what the construction material is.
While your cutting board will be secure in the majority of circumstances, utilizing it incorrectly can result in mishaps where you end up getting cut. Your cutting board needs to be in the proper posture and on a sturdy surface, much like you should do when using your kitchen knives.
Some cutting boards only have one surface that can be used to cut items, while the other one may contain a component that prevents slipping while you’re cutting. It’s crucial to make sure that this side is downward on a solid, level surface like your tabletop. Additionally, cutting with the entire blade on the cutting board will protect you from injury in the event of an accident.
Unlike the other cutting boards mentioned, wooden cutting boards naturally have antibacterial qualities. They are, therefore, the best option because they are the cleanest cutting boards. Additionally, they are kinder to the cutting edges of kitchen knives and cutting boards made of end-grain wood.
The self-cleaning qualities of the wood cutting board are undoubtedly advantageous, but with sufficient care and cleaning after use, other cutting boards will be just as hygienic.
Overall, wood is our choice for the cleanest cutting board. If cleaned and cared for regularly, any other cutting board can be kept just as hygienic. Simply put, using wooden cutting boards is less effort.
A cutting board’s edge will last longer if it is kept clean and well cared for. If having long-lasting sharp knives is important to you, visit our homepage to browse our selection of handcrafted kitchen knives.