I never thought I’d be writing to Cecil (or in this case, the Staff of the Straight Dope) and telling you that you need to change your tune. Prof Dean Cliver at Davis and his colleagues did the experiments, and observed that
with wood cutting boards, most bacteria were gone in three minutes and ALL the bacteria were gone in 12 hours;
with plastic cutting boards, there are more bacteria after 12 hours than there were to begin with.
Ask Dr Cliver if you need details, or ask me: I’ll send you a pdf that has enough detail to convince anybody.
The point of this is that the results are pretty much CETERIS PARIBUS, so all of your meant-to-be-helpful advice about keeping stuff clean, or having separate boards for poultry, meat , and veggies, is just confusing; what you needed to tell EVERYBODY is that that they are to walk over to the kitchen, dismantle their plastic cutting boards (so nobody will salvage them from the trash), and then (yes, you guess it!) throw them into the trash!!
Listen up: They did the experiment. It’s done. The results are in. There are no experiments to the contrary. If you don’t believe that one should live by the data, then turn in your Straight Dope license. These are the ONLY DATA. Do the experiment yourself, like you did with the laundry balls. The bacteria will be dead by morning on the wood boards, and they will be fat and happy on the plastic boards. Nobody washes their cutting boards with bleach or with Ajax or any other crap, nobody. They wipe them off. People think plastic is cleaner because of “better living thru chemistry” thinking. Plastic boards were invented in the seventies; the plastic board expt is now thirty years old. It’s enough already. At least revisit the topic and tell people what experiments have been done and what the results were. Experiments; you know, experiments. Not just helpful advice. Okay? Sorry to be just a little bit annoyed. It wasn’t so easy finding this Straight Dope page, and then when I found it, it was pure aaaarrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhh because you are giving out the same namby pamby bullshit that other people give out: Clean your cutting board; It really doesn’t matter.
Read Cliver’s papers. No kidding, Or just tell me: What would it take to convince you that plastic boards harbor bacteria and they multiply on them? What would it take to convince you that wooden boards dissolve bacteria, including E coli o157? Within three minutes!!! what? What do you want? :smack: :wally