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Cutting board question

janel kelly

Advanced Member
Feb 19, 2005
Through my year of being with pampered chef I've heard about our cutting boards being made out of polyethalyn or however you spell it and how it keeps germs from being absorbed into the board. I've been told that restaurants are required to not use wooden cutting boards because they absorb bacteria. So I tell these things to my guests. Anyway, at a show yesterday a lady told me her husband makes wooden cutting boards for his mom's business or something like that and that he had to do a big study and research wooden cutting boards and if they are safe. She said his research concluded that its false that wooden cutting boards are not safe and that they don't harbor bacteria. Does anyone know anything about this? What do you tell guests at your show about cutting boards?

Pampered Laura

IMO, unless a wood cutting board is somehow treated to be waterproof, I don't see how that's possible. I'm interested to see other replies!


Veteran Member
Jun 29, 2005
Oh my, read this!!

I can't believe what I just read. I guess you could say that our cutting boards can be bleached and ran through the dishwasher and the cuts can be sanded down with fine sandpaper. You can't do that with wood.


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Jan 6, 2006
I work very part time at Panera Bread.
We're majorly strict on hygeine and our bakers use the wood ONLY for breads. No meat ever touches it. It's not that they're not even allowed in the food sevice business.

I tend not to believe whatever that person said about being able to use wood with meat. I tend to think if his mom gets an inspection from the health dept. and they see them using raw meat on a wood cutting board, there's going to be some quick changes made.

Dec 30, 2005
Just say NO!

Kenneths says:
About cutting boards, current HACCP regulations require foodservice industry restaurants to use cutting boards made of polyethylene. This is because they are certified by the NSF and do not promote the dulling of cutlery . This is not to say that you will not see some restaurants using other boards such as wood or plastic. Restaurants use different polyethylene boards for specific items which are identified by their universal color (i.e. raw meat-red board, ready to eat foods-white board, fish-blue board, veggies-green board, chicken-yellow board, etc..)

In terms of wooden boards, yes, they do harbor bacteria and the risk of cross-contamination can be a lot higher.

Tiffany says:
Kenneth is in culinary school, so he is more educated in regards to the sanitiation standards than I am. However, coming from someone who has worked in restaurants for several years, wooden cutting boards are DEFINITELY not the way to go! Yes they look pretty, but you can't ever guarantee that they are clean. Bacteria gets down into the cracks of the wood and no matter how hard you scrub, you never know if you really got it clean. That's why it's best to use a non-porous board, IMO. Plus, those wooden boards never really get dry, even though they feel like they are on the outside. So, you have a moist environment that is perfect for bacteria to thrive in. The only way I can see that it is acceptable to use wood is if you can guarantee that no meat will EVER touch that board. That's pretty hard to do, especially at home. Even then, when you wash those crumbs off, you still have the problem with moisture inside the board. Most people use only one or two boards at home, not 10 different ones like you would have in a commercial kitchen, so they are usually cutting meats on the same board they are cutting their other foods on. That is not acceptable IMO if you are concerned about the health of your family. Our family owns 6 cutting boards that we use, and we ALWAYS use our red board for our raw meats, as Kenneth seems to be pretty susceptable to food poisoning. Things that don't bother the rest of us can easily make him ill. That's why we do our best to eliminate cross-contamination concerns by using color coded polyethylene boards. At least if I use a board that had meat cut on it previously, the risk of that board harboring any bacteria is slim to none (after washing of course!)


Advanced Member
Nov 3, 2005
well i guess i lied...

many people have ordered the bamboo cutting boards at my show and just about everyone has asked if they were safe...well i read someone that they were....so i feel awful that i told those people that they were safe.....OOOPPSS!!!


Legacy Member
May 6, 2005
But remember, Bamboo is not wood. So their properties are not the same. I'm not entirely sure what that would mean for water absorption and harboring bacteria, etc. :confused:


Senior Member
Gold Member
Feb 2, 2005
The bamboo board is not the same as most wooden cutting boards. And, the HO says that our bamboo board is a carving board, not a cutting board. A carving board would only be used with cooked meats, not raw, so there is less chance of bacteria. Personally, I have never used my bamboo board. I only have it because it came in a sample package. I would never have gotten it otherwise. I think it is way, way too expensive. I prefer our other cutting boards and I always wash them in the dishwasher. I never use the same one to cut raw meat on and then cut something else. If I need to cut meat and vegetables, I use 2 boards and then they both go into the dishwasher for thorough cleaning.


Aug 16, 2005

If I'm not mistaken, I think I heard or read somewhere that bamboo is safe and bacteria will not grow on it.

Julie Myers