The Importance of a Clean Cutting Board

There are a whole range of cutting boards available on the market and while many claim to be more hygienic than others, is this really the case ?

Illnesses that can be caused by cutting boards;

1)Campylobacter causing diarrhea and digestive tract problems
2)E-coli or Escherichia coli – again causing digestive tract problems, urinary tract gastrointestinal illness
3)Salmonella causing gastroenteritis and also known as a prime cause of typhoid
4)Staphylococcus aureus this is a particularly nasty disease that eats away the integrity of the stomach lining, and can cause pneumonia and endocarditis
5)Allergies traces of allergens can come into contact with other food preparation.


Plastic is not porous and so it could be argued that it would hold less germs, although this only applies if the board is undamaged. By the very nature of a cutting board, you will damage the surface, and where the microbes penetrate the cuts on boards, the dangers to hygiene are more likely. These should never be used for different kinds of foods such as raw meats, cooked meats and vegetables. They are relatively cheap and when worn are simple to replace. Having them colour coded for different uses will enhance their hygienic use. Look for dishwasher proof ones, and never use them other than when they are completely dry.

8/10 from a hygiene point of view, diminishing to 6/10 if used for assorted uses


These are more rigid boards, although the same risks apply because cuts will attract germs, and the same criteria should be placed on these as with their plastic counterparts. These usually last longer, though dishwasher proof ones can be kept clean in the same way as plastic. Never use for meat, cold meat and vegetables as the risks are increased.

8/10 from a hygiene point of view, and again 6/10 if used with an assortment of foods.


Wooden cutting boards should be chosen in close grain wood that works well against bacteria. Beech and maple are a good choice. Here again avoid using for mixed raw and cooked meats, or a combination of meats and vegetables. Scrub clean, rinse and dry thoroughly to avoid infections. Wood isn’t dishwasher friendly though the close grain makes it less penetrable than plastic with cuts in it.

9/10 from a hygiene point of view if scrubbed regularly between uses and allowed to dry, 4/10 if used for mixed raw and cooked meat, shellfish etc.


People shy away from marble because of the damage it does to knives. Although knives may be expensive, think of the hygiene factor and you may change your mind. Marble is almost impenetrable, can be scrubbed clean and dried between uses, and keeps it’s hygiene qualities longer.

9/10 for hygiene, and 9/10 for lasting ability and flexibility of use.

Take care of your chopping board, and pay attention to what you use it for. Your own health and that of your family is in your hands.

Post Author: te120