What type of cutting board is best—plastic or wood? You have to get the ick off either one. Here’s what to do…

Both cutting boards are good. The difference: Plastic is easier to sanitize (just put it in the dishwasher), but it develops more grooves and scratches where bacteria can grow because moisture can be trapped. Wood is tougher to sanitize, but a hardwood board will not have as many scratches (and they eventually close up). Capillary action within the wood grain actually sucks bacteria deep into the wood, and as the wood dries, the bacteria die.

Bamboo also can be a good choice, since it is typically hard and resistant to bacteria.

Here’s our favorite way to sanitize any cutting board: For both plastic (aside from a dishwasher) and wood, coat it with a light spray of distilled white vinegar, followed by a light spray of hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly. And just a reminder…using different cutting boards for different foods helps avoid cross-contamination.

Thanks to Benjamin Chapman, PhD, associate professor of food safety, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, for help with this tip.

More ways to keep your kitchen clean…

• Top 10 Germy Spots in Your Kitchen…and How to Keep Them Clean

• Don’t Let Contaminated Kitchen Knives Make You Sick

• Simple Secrets to an E-Coli-Free Kitchen


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