Poll: wood v plastic chopping boards. Which is better?
The internet is awash with claim and count-claim about what material makes the best chopping board. So we thought we’d ask you dear delicious. readers, and find out which you prefer and why.
Traditionally chopping boards were made from wood. But then in the 1990s it was thought that wood harboured bacteria in the cuts resulting from knife work. So plastic boards were recommended, especially in commercial kitchens, where they were also colour coded by what substance you should cut on them. Then other studies claimed that wood has an natural antiseptic quality, and that bacteria would be killed by the resins in the grain. Interestingly many butchers – who do more cutting and chopping than most – still use a large wooden butchers block, which is scrubbed down with a wire brush at the end of the day. So, which is best? Well let’s look at the facts.
The case for wood
they look nicer, butchers use them. Apparent natural antiseptic.
often more expensive. Can warp if left in water.
The case for plastic
cheap, can be put in the dishwasher.
don’t look as nice.
What about other types?
Glass boards are up there with chocolate fire guards and inflatable dart boards – utterly useless. Marble ones are too heavy to be practical in my experience. This battle is between wood and plastic.
So who’s right?
Well here’s what the Food Standards Agency. They say ‘there isn’t any strong evidence that one type of chopping board is more or less hygienic than another, whether plastic, wooden, glass or even marble. What is important is that the board gets cleaned properly after every use and is replaced if it gets damaged, for example from deep cuts or scoring. You could also use separate chopping boards for raw and ready-to-eat foods.”
So which do you favour and why? Vote in our poll and talk to us in the comments box below.