Worth Replacing: Cutting boards

Usually the items featured here as being ‘worth replacing’ are the kind of thing that I would replace if they were destroyed. Today, I present something that should be replaced frequently so that no one’s health is destroyed. A subtle but important topical distinction.

An article I read last week from a newsletter written for people who work in food processing reminds me of an important fact: damaged, scratched cutting boards can hold bacteria even after normal washing. So, I want to encourage all of you to do two things this week:

1. Examine your home cutting boards and replace any badly scratched ones.
2. Buy some bleach and a spray bottle then put the bleach and some water in the bottle. Use this cheap and effective cleaner often to clean your cutting boards.

And, since I’m at it, remember to change your dishcloths daily and to bleach your dish brush (if you use one) frequently, too.

This message was brought to you by someone who cares.

I just bought these four new cutting boards to replace ones that were looking too well worn in our test kitchen. When was the last time you replaced your cutting board?


11 Responses to Worth Replacing: Cutting boards

  1. I don’t use plastic cutting boards. All my boards are wood, which has natural antibacterial properties. I zap the small boards in the microwave for a minute to kill any bacteria that remains but my big board just air dries. I’ve also had them for years and the thought of replacing them makes me sad. Not sure why, but I just love my wooden boards.

    My dish clothes are also made from wood — Natura clothes. I LOVE THEM. Will never ever go back to cotton dish clothes again. The wood fibre never gets smelly and is very absorbent and soft.

  2. Sheryl says:

    I’m also a wooden cutting board gal. My main board is a 50 lb butcher block that gets wiped regularly, scrubbed weekly and lovingly oiled a couple of times a month. It’s a no-meat zone though – I use a separate board for stronger vegetables like onion and garlic as well as for meat, so those ones can go under the tap with some soap and a good scrubbing. But they’re all wood.

    Dishclothes (hate, hate, hate sponges!) not only get changed daily, they get dunked in a bleach solution before washing.

  3. Kitt says:

    My cutting boards get scrubbed regularly with soap and salt, and occasionally bleach. Sponges and dish scrubbers go through the dishwasher every couple of days. Sponges that are retired from dishwashing but are still usable have one corner cut off.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I echo the wooden cutting board gals. I use a plastic board just for animal protein (and then pop it in the dishwasher), but really I hate cutting on it. It just doesn’t feel nearly as good under my knife as my trusty wooden board, which I use for everything else.

    I admit I’m not great about disinfecting my sponges. Once they start to smell I toss them, but I should probably just get in the habit of dishwashing/microwaving them every few days.

  5. Rosa says:

    Yes, one has to replace them on a regular basis! I use plastic boards for smelly and wet things and wooden boards for bread, cakes, etc…



  6. Corey says:

    I use solid gold cutting boards, which I throw out after each use. I used to put them through the dishwasher, but the hassle of microwaving my dishwasher and then boiling it was too much.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I too use wooden cutting boards, which are cleaned frequently with white vinegar. From what I understand, vinegar is as effective at killing bacteria as bleach and is a lot easier on the environment.

    Like Cheryl, we use a plastic board for raw animal protein and after using it immediately scrub it with extremely hot, soapy water, then spray it with vinegar before air-drying it.

  8. I was just reading this article and I was thinking of all the cutting boards sitting in all the landfills. It is definitely worth it to invest in a top quality board. Lee Valley is has some at a much lower price than some of the higher end cooking stores. As for placing your board in the dishwasher, watch for bits of cooked protein stuck in the cutting grooves. With a good quality butcher’s knife and some parchment paper covering the board when cutting meat you can prolong the board’s usefulness.

  9. cheritycall says:

    Hi, Give something to help those hungry people from Africa or India,
    I added this blog about that subject:
    at http://tinyurl.com/6bz6t7

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