Food Safety, Preparation and Storage Tips
Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the University of Arizona
Cutting Boards (Plastic Versus Wood)
Which is better, wooden or plastic cutting board? Recent research has confirmed the conventional belief that plastic is safer than wood for cutting meat and poultry.
One study reported that new wooden boards had antimicrobial qualities while plastic cutting boards trapped bacteria. However, more recent studies by the Food and Drug Administration found that microorganisms became trapped in wood surfaces and were difficult to dislodge by rinsing. Once trapped, bacteria survive in a dormant stage for long periods of time. The next time the cutting board is used, these bacteria could contaminate other foods, potentially causing food-borne illness. On the other hand, the study found that microorganisms were easily washed off plastic surfaces.
Current cutting board recommendations are:
Material written by Mary Abgrall and Scottie Misner, April 1998.