A wooden cutting board or butcher block is a valuable item. It can take hard wear and tear and continue looking good for many years with proper seasoning and on-going treatment.
Should you worry about bacteria and contamination?
Which is better, wooden or plastic cutting boards? Consumers may choose either wood or a nonporous surface cutting board such as plastic, marble, glass, or pyroceramic.
The Meat and Poultry Hotline says that consumers may use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry. However, consider using one cutting board for fresh produce and bread and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. This will prevent bacteria on a cutting board that is used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood from contaminating a food that requires no further cooking.
The above information was provided bu the USDA.
Care and Cleaning of a Wooden Cutting Board
If you own a new butcher block or wooden cutting board, be sure to season it to prevent food odors, scratching and staining. All our cutting boards are pre-seasoned with mineral oil.
Seasoning. A food safe mineral oil finish or Tung oil is the preferable treatment method for seasoning a wooden cutting board because the oil finish is easy to maintain if the wood surface becomes dry or damaged. An oil finish helps to prevent the wood from cracking or separating at the seams. Mineral oil is the easiest method while Tung oil takes more time to dry. Food safe mineral is sold by most grocery store chains or hardware stores. You can also order mineral oil directly from Amazon.
Apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in between each of the coats required for the initial seasoning. Two to four coats of mineral oil is adequate. After each treatment, wait about two to three hours and wipe off oil that did not soak into the wood. Re‐oil the butcher block monthly, or as often as needed. They will shrink or expand as the moisture content of the wood changes. Extreme dryness may cause the wood to crack.
Using. It is best to avoid cutting poultry or raw meat directly on a wooden cutting board or butcher block. Instead, you can place a plastic cutting board on the surface and use the plastic board as the cutting surface. This will prevent it from becoming contaminated. Cooked meats, fruits, cheese and vegetables can be used on a wooden surface with no problems.
Sanitizing and Cleaning of a Wooden Cutting Board
- Scrape off food residue: If needed, use a plastic or metal scraper. Keep the angle of the blade to avoid scratching or gouging the wood.
- Scrub the surface of the butcher block: Take a scrub brush and clean the top with hot water and mild dish soap.
- Rinse with hot water: Run a clean cloth with hot water and rinse it thoroughly followed by a damp cloth to remove the detergent. Too much water should be avoided.
- Sanitize with vinegar: Spray undiluted white or apple vinegar onto the surface of the cutting board. Let sit for a few minutes and wife off with a clean, damp cloth.
- Dry thoroughly: Using a clean dish towel or paper towel, thoroughly dry the surface.
- Re-oil the surface: Re‐oil the surface as often as needed.
Additional information on care and cleaning of your cutting boards.