The Best Way to Clean and Care for Wood Cutting Boards

How to Clean and Care Of Wood Cutting Boards

Wash wooden boards with a bit of soap, rinse in hot water, wipe clean, and allow to dry upright. For board maintenance: every few weeks generously sprinkle coarse salt over the surface of the board, rub it with a sliced lemon, then rinse well with hot water. If your cutting boards are made from butcher block, once a month apply a small amount of mineral oil or beeswax, rubbing with a lint-free cloth in the direction of the wood grain. (Walnut oil, almond oil, and pure tung oil are good alternatives, but stay away from olive or vegetable oils, as they turn rancid quickly.) Reapply until the wood stops absorbing the oil. Wipe off excess and dry board overnight.


Wood vs. Plastic Cutting Boards - Which is better - wood or plastic?

Most people are surprised to hear that a wood cutting board may be more resistant to bacterial buildup than plastic ones. Research has shown that bacteria, such as the salmonella often found on raw chicken, will thrive and multiply if not removed from plastic boards (because germs that cause food poisoning can hide out in the knife-scarred nooks and crannies that develop on the surface of a plastic cutting board). Hand scrubbing with hot water and soap can clear microbes from the surface of new or used wooden cutting boards and new plastic ones, but knife-scared plastic boards are resistant to decontamination by hand washing.

Guidelines To Increase Food Safety When Using Wood Cutting Boards:

Choose a board with a smooth, hard surface. It should be approved for contact with food.

Replace cutting boards that become deeply scratched, carved or grooved.

Do not chop salad, vegetables or other ready-to-eat foods on an unwashed cutting board that's been used to trim raw meat, poultry or seafood. If possible, always use a clean, separate, color-coded cutting board for fresh vegetables, fruits, bread, and other food that will not be cooked prior to eating.

Scrape off any stuck food and scrub all cutting boards completely with hot soapy water after each use. Dishwashers are usually very good cleaners for most cutting boards. However, thin plastic or wooden boards may be damaged.

Sanitize cutting boards from time-to-time with a mixture of one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water. Flood the board with the mixture; let it stand a few minutes. Then, rinse completely with fresh water. For better food safety, sanitize washed cutting boards after using with raw meat, poultry, and seafood. This may be especially important for households with ill family members.

Let cutting boards dry completely; do not stack together or with other kitchen gear so that they remain wet.

Store cutting boards so that they stay clean, dry, and do not touch raw meat, poultry or seafood or their drippings. 


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