Think your plastic chopping board is more hygienic than a wooden one? You”re wrong.
Plastic chopping boards in fact harbour much more bacteria than their wooden cousins, according to Allrecipes magazine.
And when you find out how disgusting a plastic board can really get, you may never want to use one again.
Plastic chopping boards may be easier to wipe clean but a study found they harbour more bacteria than wooden ones
- Study found that bacteria thrived on plastic boards overnight but died on wood
- The dents and grooves in a plastic board are also more likely to harbor germs
- Use plastic for raw meat but wood for everything else, recommends one expert
With their wipe-clean surfaces, many assume that a plastic chopping board is more hygienic because it”s easier to clean.
But several studies have revealed that bacteria multiplies much quicker on plastic boards.
A study by University of Wisconsin study found that bacteria including salmonella did not survive on wooden cutting boards when left overnight. However on a plastic board, the bacteria thrived and multiplied.
Another study found that people were more likely to fall ill if using a plastic chopping board.
Wooden chopping boards are less likely to have severe dents where bacteria can grow, unlike plastic boards, which wear out quickly
Old or worn chopping boards are also a bacteria risk as the dents and grooves made over time can harbour germs.
Mould can grow under the surface of the board, leading to staining and creating a potential health risk.
– Wash thoroughly with hot water and soap before prepping food
– Always prepare vegetables before raw meat if using the same board
– Dry wooden boards with a cloth
– Don”t stack wet boards together
– Throw away worn or old boards
When there are too many grooves, the safest thing to do is to throw the old board away.
Wooden boards meanwhile tend to last longer because the material is much sturdier than plastic and less likely to dent severely.
But there may not be a need to throw away your plastic chopping board just yet.
Food safety researcher Ben Chapman of NC State has said that plastic chopping boards are useful for prepping raw meat as they can be put in the dishwasher where the high temperature inside the machine will kill any bacteria.
But he recommends using wooden boards for chopping vegetables or ready-to-eat foods.
The United States Department of Agriculture says that both wood and plastic can harbour bacteria, and the best way to stay safe and prevent illness is to make sure you wash your clean chopping boards thoroughly with hot water and soap before prepping food.
Dry boards with a towel as soon as they”re washed and don”t stack damp boards together, says Allrecipes, as this will let the bacteria multiply.
By IMOGEN BLAKE