Re: cutting boards, where to get colors
From: pjv4 (pjv4cornell.edu)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 12:36:01 -0700 (MST)
With regards to contamination from cutting boards, there seems to be some
evidence that supports using wood boards (see, for example,
http://www.foodsafety.org/il/il114.htm).  One theory is that the tannins in
the wood help to destroy the bacteria, something that isn't true for plastic
or glass cutting boards.  Another theory is that the capillary action of the
wood pulls the bacteria in under the surface of the cutting board (see
http://www.foodsafety.org/ht/ht144.htm, article by Patrick Bird).

However, if not properly cleaned, microorganisms can still remain on wooden
cutting boards in a dormant state, and then contaminate your foods later (see
http://www.foodsafety.org/il/il053.htm and
http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/health/foodsafety/az1076.html).

The bottom line seems to be that you need to maintain proper sanitary
standards with regards to kitchen utensils and food preparation surfaces in
your own home, in a CH, in a diner, etc.  I prefer using wood cutting boards
for practical and aesthetic reasons, even though you do need to oil them
periodically.  Wooden boards represent not only a renewable source of
material, but in the Ithaca area at least, they also represent the skills of
local artisans and woodworkers.  Plastic boards don't do that.

Paul Viscuso
Cornell Univ.

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