Re: Cutting boards color-code
From: Hollie Butler (
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 15:17:26 -0700 (MST)
This was my question. There appears to be no scientific evidence that 
supports this.

There *is*, however, very specific differences between types of cutting
boards that I've been learning about through some conversations with a chef
and friends.

 * Plastic Cutting Boards: These are easier to clean. Throwing them in the
dishwasher takes care of any bug or bacteria that may be on there. The
downside is that they aren't very pleasing aesthetically, to a lot of

 * Wooden Cutting Boards: There are two different camps about this one. Both
camps agree that a wooden cutting board is nearly impossible to clean
totally. When you cut on a wooden board, you're making grooves in the wood
(sometimes deep ones) that bugs and bacteria can live in quite happily.
--> Here's where the camps split: one camp says that by using a generous
amount of bleach (some folks say this is harmful to the environment) you can
adequately clean a wooden cutting board. (Also, putting a wooden board in
the dishwasher will cause it to dry out and split within a few weeks.) The
second camp says that A)using lots of bleach will just end up damaging the
wood to the point where it will split and be unusable, and B)you don't need
to clean it that harshly anyway because there are already chemicals inherent
in wood that will kill germs and bacteria if they manage to crawl into the

For myself, I'm going to switch in my own home from wooden boards to plastic
boards, now that we are cooking a lot in our household. The couple of nice
wooden boards I have will be cleaned well and used for cutting bread and
other purposes not involving raw food.


Trillium Hollow Cohousing
Portland, Oregon
hollie [at]

>From: "Ruddick, T.R." <RUDDICK [at]>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>Subject: RE: Cutting boards color-code
>Date: Mon, Jan 24, 2000, 8:53 AM

> I've been following this food & health discussion avidly out of personal
> interest.  One thing I'd like explained:
> Assuming proper sanitizing and washing procedures, is there any scientific
> basis for thinking that using dedicated cutting boards (one only for meat,
> one for dairy only, one for fruits, one for veggies) actually does something
> for health, sanitation, food purity, or whatever?

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