Health Food safety Cutting Boards Re: colored cutting boards
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:28:26 -0700 (PDT)
Good stuff--thanks! I agree on the replication requirement; more should be done, and done far better, on food safety and both bacteria and viruses. Some labs can be trusted; others tell their clients what they want to hear (and who knows how much actual testing was done and how well?).

I have used vinegar too. In some cases I might use vinegar, soda, salt, alcohol, and hot soapy water in addition to a four-hour sun-bath. But all of this is deductive folklore; GIGO looms its ugly head.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Karen Carlson" <kcarlson2 [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2013 1:15 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ colored cutting boards

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 replication.

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

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

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.


----- 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.


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:
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