General cutting board care includes washing, sterilizing, and for wood boards, oiling. The main issue with all cutting boards is cleanliness.
Keeping them clean is most important to keep bacteria from contaminating your food.
Here are some general guidelines for caring for your cutting board.
Cutting Board Care-General Safety Tips:
1-Keep cutting boards clean and sanitized.
2-Cutting boards with deep cuts or cracks should be replaced or resurfaced. Bacteria can hide in these crevices and is hard to remove.
3-Avoid cross contamination by using a separate cutting board for raw meats, fish and poultry. Clean and sanitize your board every time you prepare these items. Use a different board for cutting your vegatables, bread and cooked meats such as sandwich meat. This is the most important tip here-cross contamination of raw meat bacteria can cause serious illness.
4-Keep cutting boards dry when not in use to keep bacteria from growing. If possible store your board on its edge to keep moisture from forming on the bottom.
5- Be careful when cutting on glass or acrylic boards. The hard surface of these boards can make it easy for a knife blade to skip possibly causing an injury.
Cutting Board Care-Cleaning:
All cutting boards:
1-Scrape of any stuck food.
2-Scrub with hot soapy water and a scrub brush(plastic), rinse and dry immediately.
1-Scrape off stuck food with a scraper or metal spatula.
2-Using a good plastic scrub brush, scrub with hot soapy water, rinse and dry immediately. DO NOT immerse in water or leave water sitting on the board. Rinse and dry board immediately.
3-Sanitize with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or both. Some people reccomend vinegar be diluted in water at about 3 Tbsp. per cup of water and let sit on the cutting board for about 10 minutes.
Unfortunately it is not good for a wood cutting board to have water sit on it as it can retain the moisture and eventually cause damage.
A much better way would be to keep a spray bottle handy with straight vinegar in it and spray a thin mist directly on the board and have it sit for the 10 minutes, wiping dry with an absorbant towell after. Hydrogen peroxide at 3% strenght can be used the same way.
You could keep 2 spray bottles handy, one with vinegar, one with hydrogen peroxide, and spray a mist of both on your cutting board for maximum sterilization. Both products are safe for using around food.
Bleach is not recommended for wood cutting boards. The organic composition of wood works against the bleach and renders it useless.
Plastic, Acrylic and Glass Boards:
1- Scrape off stuck food as you would with a wood board.
2- Scrub and dry as you would with a wood board or clean in a dishwasher. Thin plastic boards can warp in the dishwasher so you may not want to clean them this way.
3-If you don't have a dishwasher, you can sanitize these boards with any one of these solutions:
3 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup water2 tbsp. bleach to 1 quart waterHydrogen peroxide 3% solution
* You can also use a spray bottle with either vinegar or hydrogen peroxide as described for wood cutting boards.
* Let solution sit on board for about 10 minutes, dry with paper towell or rinse and air-dry.
Cutting Board Care-Maintenance:
Plastic, acrylic and glass cutting boards require little maintenance other than cleaning and sterilizing. If they become knife-scarred or gouged they should be replaced.
New wood and bamboo cutting boards should have mineral oil applied before using. End grain cutting boards will require several coats as the oil will really sink in. Do not use cooking oils such as vegetable, olive or canola as they will turn rancid.
It's reccomended to heat the oil up before applying. You can also mix some bees wax or parrafin wax with the oil for a nicer finish. Add about 1/2 tsp. wax to about 1 cup mineral oil. Heat it up in the microwave in a microwave safe dish at 20 second intervals intil wax is melted.
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