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Old 02-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Food Myths Debunked

23 Food Myths from the State of Alaska Food Safety and Sanitation Program:
Food Myths

Especially, #15, safety of mayonnaise.

The truth about wooden versus plastic cutting boards, from UC-Davis faculty research: UC-Davis Food Safety Laboratory: Cutting Board Research :
"We soon found that disease bacteria such as these were not recoverable from wooden surfaces in a short time after they were applied, unless very large numbers were used. New plastic surfaces allowed the bacteria to persist, but were easily cleaned and disinfected. However, wooden boards that had been used and had many knife cuts acted almost the same as new wood, whereas plastic surfaces that were knife-scarred were impossible to clean and disinfect manually, especially when food residues such as chicken fat were present. Scanning electron micrographs revealed highly significant damage to plastic surfaces from knife cuts."
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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gg, respectfully, they used manual cleaning, or just scrubbing with a sponge and soap and water.

if you put your plastic cutting board in a dishwasher, they are far safer than wooden boards.

if you put a wooden board in a dishwaher, it won't be long before it cracks and becomes useless.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
gg, respectfully, they used manual cleaning, or just scrubbing with a sponge and soap and water.

if you put your plastic cutting board in a dishwasher, they are far safer than wooden boards.

if you put a wooden board in a dishwaher, it won't be long before it cracks and becomes useless.
(copied from the other thread, where it was too off-topic; sorry 'bout that)

But the point is that plastic is not *better*. You don't have to put a wood board in the dishwasher to sanitize it - it essentially sanitizes itself. I can't find the reference now, but I have also read that the more a plastic board is used, the more knife cuts it sustains, and the more difficult it is to sanitize it, even in the dishwasher, because the water can't get deep enough into the cuts.

Meanwhile, a wooden cutting board has inherent sanitizing properties. Again, I can't find the ref. now, (dangit!) but I have read that the dryness of the wood sucks the moisture out of the bacteria, killing them. Plastic doesn't do this.

I've written this here before - the way I clean my wood cutting board is to spray it with a solution of white vinegar, lemon juice and water, let sit a few minutes, then wipe any crumbs, etc., into the trash. Done. It's ready to use again and I don't have to wait for a dishwasher cycle.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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In my opinion, both wood and plastic are equally safe to use. Each has good points and bad points. That is why I like to keep both in my kitchen.

I enjoyed reading the rest of the article too, although I do not agree with all the temps they mentioned. I will not be cooking all of my meat to 180. That is just insane. I also think they are a little off on the danger zone temps. They say 45 degrees for the low side is OK, but I have always gone with 40.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:06 PM   #5
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I have a white plastic cutting board I'm guessing is about 1/2" thick. I remember the tag on it saying it was NOT dishwasher safe. I take it they make ones that are now?
I'm going to be in the market soon as I want to "assign" uses to my various boards.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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I use both also. Since I'm a vegetarian and the boy isn't, he has his own thick plastic cutting board for meats. We run it through the dishwasher, I also toss them after some time and buy a new one.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
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i shouldn't come across as being anti-wood, i'm just saying that these things don't need to be divided into myth and myth busting, but rather just understanding materials involved and thier proper and efficient use.

we have several wood boards that are used for veggies only; a nylon-ish dishwasher safe board just for raw meats, and another that i've marked one side for meats, the other for veggies exclusively.

(i wonder what unscientific, flawed test i can run to spin my point on that one? )

then, there's the wood board that has a blood channel that is exclusively used for roasts.
i love the blood channel when there's a rare roast beast of some sort in the center...

ttthhhhssssssiiiippppp.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i shouldn't come across as being anti-wood, i'm just saying that these things don't need to be divided into myth and myth busting, but rather just understanding materials involved and thier proper and efficient use.
Well, we have the same ultimate goal, but I do believe that it's accurate to say that a myth exists that plastic boards are safer than wooden ones. I hear TV chefs say it all the time, which irritates me a lot

The same goes for the idea that mayo causes foods to spoil more quickly, when the opposite is true. What people generally don't understand is that it *used to be* true, back when people made their own homemade mayo from unpasteurized eggs. But now most people use commercial mayo, which is made from pasteurized eggs and often contains vinegar and lemon juice - acids that inhibit the growth of bacteria.

So I'm on a mission to spread the word about these myths
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:27 PM   #9
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but, but... mayo = more moist surface area, as well as fats and proteins.

awww, nevermind.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:33 PM   #10
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I do believe that it's accurate to say that a myth exists that plastic boards are safer than wooden ones.
I think that is only half the truth. I have heard that a million times, but I have equally heard that wood boards are safer than plastic.
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