Re: colored cutting boards
From: Karen Carlson (
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:15:55 -0700 (PDT)
Chefs Illustrated cleaned 3 wooden cutting boards (used for raw chicken?  can't 
remember) using one of 3 methods: 1) hot soapy water, 2) bleach solution, 3) 
straight vinegar.  Their independent lab found all three methods equal and 
effective.  (I suspect if you have some particularly horrible viruses, the 
results could be different.)  Our prep island is a huge wood affair and we 
clean using straight vinegar and then food grade mineral oil.  Raw meat of any 
kind is processed on vinyl mats that go into the sanitizer.  

The article has other good advice, such as don't wash chicken (wipe with wet 
paper towels) unless you're prepared to scrub your sink, handles of faucet, 
areas that the chicken dripped on etc.  Another good practice is instant read 
thermometers, esp for meat, but cooks here can't seem to see the benefit.  
Sorry I can't find the article but I think it was probably 2010 or 2011.

I have heard that it was right here at UW-Madison that the benefits of wood in 
bacterial control was discovered but no matter where, it would need 

Arboretum Cohousing Community
Madison, Wi

On Mar 16, 2013, at 11:08 AM, Wayne Tyson wrote:

> Does anyone have a link to the follow-up studies?
> Folk "wisdom" is often wrong, but it's important that "science" be done 
> right.
> The Japanese sushi chef I went to for almost forty years continually wiped 
> his board with a salt-soaked towel and scrubs his cutting board (wood, but I 
> never asked him what kind) with salt. It would be interesting to see studies 
> comparing the effectiveness and safety of various cleaning/disinfecting 
> agents such as salt, alcohol, and bleach (I do not use bleach).
> I continue to suspend judgment on this issue until more good science has 
> been done (I presume it has since the authors of the study declared that 
> more research was needed, especially upon any anti-bacterial action woods 
> might have, but can't find it on the Internet). I have no reason to doubt 
> the 1993 research, especially since the authors themselves acknowledged its 
> limitations.
> Bacteria, like any other organism, have certain requirements for survival 
> and, one might say, for killing. Certain environments promote them as well 
> as restrict them. The devil might well be in the details. the concern about 
> tiny, even microscopic fissures in cutting surfaces would reasonably harbor 
> bacteria. Wood is a complex material with different chemical and physical 
> characteristics. Plastic is "inert," and unlikely to play an active role in 
> reducing bacterial contamination.
> I use both materials, I favor maple for its hardness and fine grain, but I 
> continue to use both salt and alcohol, and certainly restrict the type of 
> food placed on any cutting board. I clean before and after each use, and 
> always after cutting any kind of meat. However, bacteria can be present on 
> vegetables too, so continued cleaning, even between batches, is more wise 
> than paranoid.
> WT
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Fred H Olson" <fholson [at]>
> To: "Cohousing-L mailing list" <cohousing-l [at]>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:57 AM
> Subject: [C-L]_ colored cutting boards [was: Re: Long Time Poster
>> On Feb 12/13 Chris ScottHanson wrote:
>>> And for those of you who haven't seen or don't remember the colored
>>> cutting board discussion way back when, it was very entertaining.
>>> Serious stuff and good humor.
>> Searching the archives at
>>   for
>> color* cutting board*
>> gets 25 hits, the first 15 look like they may be the discussion
>> Chris refers to.
>> Fred
>>> Chris ScottHanson
>>> Urban Cohousing Associates, Inc.
>>> Land Acquisition, Development Consulting & Project Management
>>> Ecovillages, Cohousing & Sustainable Communities
>>> PO Box 1288
>>> Langley, WA  98260
>>> (206) 601-7802 cell
>>> Author of:  The Cohousing Handbook - BUILDING A PLACE FOR COMMUNITY
>>> Available from new, used and as an eBook.
>> --
>> Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
>>    Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
>> My Link Pg:         My org:
>> Communications for Justice -- Free, superior listserv's w/o ads
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