Cutting board: wooden or plastic?

For a long time, the plastic cutting board was preferred by cooks for finely chopping raw foods such as red meat, chicken, fish and shellfish, due to the hygienic side of plastic, but also its ease of maintenance. By contrast, wood has long had a bad press, accused of being a breeding ground for bacteria.

These arguments are no longer unanimous today. The American magazine Consumer Reports reports that “new research shows that the two types [en bois et en plastique] it can be safe ”. In fact, knowledge about wood safety is not entirely recent. In a 1994 study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, researchers introduced bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella, onto the plate material using contaminated broth. What had they observed? Bacteria multiplied on the plastic boards as they were absorbed by the wood.

In addition, “with time and repeated high-temperature washing, we now know that plastic degrades and releases microparticles that damage the environment,” explains Chantal Plamondon, co-author of the book Living without plastic: ecological tools within our reach.

Certain tougher species (maple, walnut, teak, or oak) are best when it comes to choosing a good wooden cutting board. You can also extend the life of this kitchen accessory by regularly oiling it with a food grade oil and then using a beeswax based cream, which creates a barrier on the surface of the wood preventing it from sticking to the absorption of liquids .

And the cleaning? “It’s good to get into the habit of washing cutting boards, whether wooden or plastic, in hot soapy water after each use,” says Consumer Reports. Lastly, remember that it is important to use a different board for raw foods and ready-to-eat foods to avoid any risk of cross contamination.

>> Also read: How to avoid food bacteria


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