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Food and Wine Dictionary

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 cutting board 

A "board," which may be wood or plastic (acrylic), used for cutting up foods such as meat and vegetables. Though it has long been thought that plastic boards were safer than wooden with respect to food-poisoning bacteria, that theory has now been discredited. Tests done by two University of Wisconsin microbiologists proved that wooden boards are so inhospitable to bacterial contaminants (such as those from poultry juices) that bacteria actually disappears from wooden surfaces within minutes. Conversely, on plastic boards bacteria multiplies rapidly at room temperature and, even after washing, bacteria can accumulate in knife cuts. The best solution: have one board for vegetables and another (preferably wood) for meats. Always use hot water and detergent to thoroughly scrub a cutting board after each use. Plastic boards may be cleaned in the dishwasher.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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