**Article Provided by Chris & Chris Kitchen Carts
It has long been believed that plastic cutting surfaces are safer than wood cutting surfaces. For many years we have been taught that the porous nature of wood would allow wooden cutting surfaces to absorb dangerous bacteria and be very difficult to clean and keep free of these bacteria.
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s Food Research Institute has found this conventional wisdom to be flawed. The study was initially launched to try to find better ways to decontaminate wood cutting surfaces and make them as safe as plastic; the results were quite astonishing.
The researchers found that when they introduced dangerous bacteria to the wood surfaces 99% of the bacteria died off within three minutes. When dangerous bacteria were introduced on plastic cutting surfaces none of the bacteria died within the same three minute period.
When contaminated boards were left unwashed at room temperature over a 12 hour period it was found that the bacteria on the plastic surfaces had multiplied. The researchers were unable to find any evidence of bacteria at all on the wooden surfaces. The study concluded that the reason for the bacteria's inability to thrive on wooden surfaces is the presence of naturally-occurring, noxious antimicrobial agents in the wood.
Although it is unknown exactly which chemicals in the fibers of the wood are responsible for "cleaning up" these harmful bacteria: we do know that these chemicals are present in all wood types make them suitable to be used for cutting surfaces.