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Chopping Boards

A cutting board or chopping board is a durable board used to place material on to be cut. Most common is the kitchen cutting board for use preparing food, but other types exist for cutting raw materials such as leather or plastic. Kitchen cutting boards are often made of wood or plastic. There are also chopping boards made of glass, steel, marble or corian, which are easier to clean than wooden or plastic ones, but tend to damage knives.
- Sanitation with cutting boards is a delicate process, because bacteria can reside in grooves produced by cutting, or in liquids left on the board. For this reason, it is often advised to cut raw meat on separate cutting boards from cooked meat, vegetables or other foods.
- A very dilute bleach solution is best for disinfecting cutting boards.
- To remove odors, rinse the board and then rub with coarse salt and let stand for several minutes. Wipe board and then rinse clean. This procedure will also smooth out minor imperfections in the wood.
- Wood boards should never be placed in the dishwasher, or left immersed for long periods, as the wood or glue may be affected.
- A light food grade mineral oil is a good preservative for wooden cutting boards as it helps keep water from seeping into the grain. Alternatively, one may also use a food grade drying oil such as poppyseed oil, tung oil or linseed oil. The first two dry much faster than linseed. Note that most commercially available linseed and tung oil are not "food grade" as they contain metallic driers. In general, edible savory vegetable or olive oils are not recommended because they tend to go rancid, causing the board to smell and your food to pick up the rancid taste.
- Cutting boards should be treated when they start looking dry to prevent cracking. A standard recommendation is 5-7 times a year, or as needed.
- When heavily or deeply scored, wood or plastic cutting boards should be resurfaced as scoring can harbor bacteria, or mildew in the case of plastic boards. Wood can be easily resurfaced with various woodworking tools, such as scrapers or planes. Sandpaper is to be avoided however, as it leaves residual abrasives in the surface, which will dull knives. Resurfacing a plastic cutting board is more difficult and replacing it is recommended instead.
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