As one of the most arguable aspects of shopping for cutting boards, figuring out which material creates the most sanitary cutting board can be quite the task. In fact, that majority of people believe that a certain material is safer than the others when in reality, it’s one of the worst surfaces that you can prepare your food on.
In this guide, we will go through the sanitary benefits of plastic, wood, and glass cutting boards in hopes to help you choose the safest cutting board for your whole family.
The Ins and Outs of Plastic Cutting Boards
If there’s one thing that can be said about plastic cutting boards, it’s that they are incredibly cost-effective and available anywhere from high-end luxury home retailers to dollar stores. This makes them one of the more popular choices for homeowners.
However, when it comes to sanitization, you’d be surprised to learn that plastic is by far one of the most bacteria-infested surfaces that you can use to prepare meats, fruits, and vegetables.
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan where they tested plastic against wood, an increased level of bacteria was recovered from plastic surfaces than wood surfaces. They also determined that even though a brand new plastic cutting board was easy to keep clean, as soon as it begins to experience score marks, it would be next to impossible to sanitize it.
Hence, based on that study alone, it’s easy to see why you would want to avoid plastic cutting boards if you’re trying to find a material that offers a high level of sanitization. This is simply because once a groove is made in the board, then bacteria will find a new home and stay there.
The Ins and Outs of Wood Cutting Boards
On the other end of the spectrum, plenty of homeowners believed that wood was the least sanitary item to use as a cutting board, especially as wood is one of the most porous materials on the planet. With that being said, certain types of wood, such as bamboo, are phenomenal when it comes to sanitization.
Did you know that bamboo is filled with naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that prevent the buildup of mold and other harmful elements? Those natural properties, combined with a regular cleaning method, help to make sure your cutting boards are cleaner than they have ever been.
Another thing that homeowners love about wood cutting boards is that they are safer than plastic and especially glass when it comes to your knives and cutlery. It’s likely that you spent a lot more money on your knives than your cutting boards, and naturally, you would want to protect them and make sure they stay sharper for longer.
Wood is soft enough to make sure your knives don’t become dull over the years.
With that being said, wood cutting boards do require more maintenance than plastic ones, especially as they are prone to damage over the years. You will have to make sure that you use food-grade mineral oil, beeswax, or even coconut oil to maintain your wood cutting board so that it doesn’t begin to splinter or crack.
This also helps to preserve its pristine shine and limits the appearance of score marks, though wood is pretty resilient against knife marks.
The Ins and Outs of Glass Cutting Boards
Glass cutting boards can be aesthetically pleasing, but they’re certainly one of the worst surfaces to prepare food on if you’re looking for something that is going to protect your knives. Even the sound of cutlery scraping against glass is enough to make your hairs stand up on the back of your neck, which is why more homeowners avoid glass cutting boards than any other material.
However, in terms of sanitization, glass is by far the most sanitary cutting board that you can rely on to fight bacteria buildup and cross-contamination. A glass cutting board is 100% nonporous, which means that any juices or fats won’t be able to penetrate the material and allow bacteria to fester.
Aside from that, its nonporous nature also means that you won’t have to spend a lot of time disinfecting the surface. You can use absolutely any type of food-safe cleaner before putting the cutting board away.
You can even put a glass cutting board in the dishwasher and rest assured that it will be thoroughly disinfected because you won’t have to worry about score marks and crevices harboring harmful bacteria.
Even though glass cutting boards might not be the best option for someone looking to protect their knives, they are surely the most sanitary cutting board that you can get your hands on.
Wooden cutting boards, on the other hand, are the perfect alternative because they give you a high level of sanitization and protection against bacterial while at the same time protecting your knives every time that you use them for chopping, dicing, or even carving.
You can also guarantee that wood cutting boards are far more aesthetically pleasing than both glass and plastic, making them ideal for not only food preparation but also serving.