Chopping boards - plastic or wood?

Colour-coded high-density plastic chopping boardsI posted about my Yorkshire Pudding silicone vs tin challenge, and during the course of discussion in the comments section it seemed that many of us are traditionalists when it comes to certain pieces of equipment. The subject turned to chopping boards and whether plastic or wood was better. Dave, who posted there about boards in the first place, said that he uses wooden boards at home, whereas – as you can see from many of my photos – I use the pro colour-coded plastic ones. (Colour coding is included in my food hygiene series.)

There’s an interesting piece of research by Dean O Cliver, of the University of California, in which he set out to find out how to clean wooden boards to make them as hygienic as plastic ones. However, his research seemed to suggest that wooden boards were more hygienic than plastic ones in the first place.
[Edit: Unfortunately the original link placed in this article has been lost, but you can download the full paper as a PDF here.]

Many people, including me, were under the impression that colour coded boards are a legal requirement in a commercial kitchen in the UK. But now I’m not so sure that’s the case, so I did a bit of digging.

The Food Standards Agency offers a booklet entitled Food Hygiene: A Guide for Businesses. This is in PDF format and is available for free download (489 KB). Plenty of mentions about avoiding cross-contamination, but nothing about colour coding. Hmm. (It’s an interesting and useful guide anyway, so you might as well get it since it’s free.)

Wooden food-grade chopping boardsI’ve also hunted around various government sites in an attempt to ascertain the legal requirements for chopping boards. I found plenty of info that separate boards should be used for the preparation of raw meats and other foods, but found nothing at all to suggest that colour coding was a legal requirement.

Perhaps you know better? Please feel free to comment.

PS: Nisbets sell a great range of chopping boards: colour coded, of course, in low and high density plastic, as well as wooden ones in various sizes.

(UK delivery only)

Nisbets only deliver within the UK. If you live outside the UK, or want to shop around first, why not have a look at Not Delia’s Amazon Cook Shops instead?
Not Delia’s Cook Shop: UK and EU (prices in £)
Not Delia’s Cook Shop: non-EU (prices in US $)

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