[Sca-cooks] Cleaning plastic and wooden cutting boards

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Thu Mar 20 11:25:36 PDT 2008

For what it's worth, Cooks Illustrated is recommending
For a cheaper, dishwasher-safe alternative to our winning board, we’ll 
stick with the plastic Architec Gripper Nonslip ($14.99). (Jan 2008)
In 8/2005 they wrote:
Flexible cutting mats (also called chopping mats) are a perfect 
supplement to a single cutting board. They are thin enough to be rolled 
up like a newspaper yet sturdy enough to withstand the strike of a blade.
A set of two flexible cutting mats can cost as little as $5, but we like 
Progressive International’s $10 Food Safety Chopping Mat Set, which 
contains four 15 by 11-inch mats, each a different color, and two 11 by 
7 1/2-inch mats for smaller jobs. All six mats are dishwasher-safe, and 
they are thicker (and stronger) than the competition.

They also report:
Our lab tests have shown that, contrary to popular belief, bacteria 
doesn't wash off plastic boards any more easily than it does off wood ones.
In another article they report--
we asked an independent laboratory to compare wood and plastic cutting 
boards to see which harbors more harmful bacteria. The answer? There's 
no difference—both are equally safe as long as you scrub them in hot, 
soapy water. We repeated the tests on bamboo and composite boards, which 
are new to the market since we conducted the earlier tests. Just as with 
wood and plastic, if you wash these boards with soap and water, the 
bacteria will die. Interestingly, even before being washed, the bamboo 
board's natural antimicrobial properties helped kill off much of the 
bacteria. You shouldn't skip washing bamboo—but it's nice to have a 
built-in head start.

I have two heavier white plastic ones in two sizes and a set of the 
flexible mats and also two wood ones.
The more the merrier I guess.


Liz Wilson wrote: lots of questions on cleaning and using cutting boards

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