Cutting boards can be a highly contentious topic. Although there is some debate on which types of cutting boards are better and more hygienic, plastic cutting boards are not the safest option, which is contrary to what a lot of people think.
After all the slicing and dicing work done on a plastic cutting board, you will inevitably see little cuts and nicks across the surface. Those plastic cracks and crevices just happen to be the perfect home for dangerous bacteria to live in.
Most folks think that with plastic, you can just wipe the bacteria right off, but actually things like E.coli and salmonella are going to stick to the plastic more so than wood or bamboo.
Another drawback is the plastic BPA factor. The bits of plastic that come from those small knife scratches have to go somewhere—and that somewhere is in the food you’re chopping.
If you’re a die-hard plastic cutting board fan or have a bunch that you’re just not ready to part with, you can clean your plastic cutting boards by running them through the dishwasher. Stains can be removed by soaking them in a solution of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water for about an hour followed by a good scrubbing with soap and water. Scratches can be removed and/or smoothed out with a steel-wool scrubbing pad.
While any wood board is still better than plastic, the best wooden cutting boards are made from bamboo. Bamboo is 16% harder than maple wood, which is the most common wood used for most cutting boards, and it is 1/3 lighter in weight than oak, yet in some instances as strong as steel.
Bamboo and hard wood have natural antibacterial properties. Although the knife cuts on these boards still provide a place for bacteria to hide, once the bacteria goes down into the crevice they die off slowly.
Totally Bamboo is a highly recommended brand for bamboo boards. The company uses premium grade all natural bamboo and non-toxic formaldehyde free food grade glue to ensure the utmost safety to their consumers. And, for the seriously germ-o-phobic, they carry a line of dishwasher safe cutting boards so, if you’re concerned about bacteria, just run it through the dishwasher once in a while.
An extra bonus with bamboo: It is a 100% renewable resource. Whereas trees have to be re-planted and have a much longer maturation time, bamboo simply grows back and can be re-harvested every 4 ½ years making it a great choice for the eco-conscious as well.