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Jan 6, 2012 09:49 PM

Cutting boards

How long is too long to keep a plastic cutting board? I have one that's about 10 yrs old and has food stains. I no longer use it but for some reason never tossed it. Am I overreacting?

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  1. If you do not use it, then you might as well toss it then.

    1. Why don't you use it? They will last practically forever. I'm sure that my oldest one is much older than that and still perfectly functional. This type is the easiest to clean, and the only type I use for meats.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GH1618

        Pretty much because I bought a bamboo one and I have the cutting sheets (the ones that come in different colors) Guess I'll keep it a bit longer. Funny thing I used it today and kinda missed it.

      2. a little hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution would look after the food stains :)
        I use my plastic cutting boards until the surface is no longer flat (different from "smooth"... which it won't be after a little use) enough to accommodate my knife edge (7" blade). Then I either use a hand plane to refine the surface, or re-purpose for non-food uses.

        1. If it's old, you should toss it. In fact, if it's plastic, you should toss it. Wood is much safer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: seiun

            I have wood and plastic.

            My 2 plastic cutting boards go into the dishwasher that has a sanitizing mode included. When they start showing knife marks, etc., they get tossed. I've also used plastic when camping and a good washing with bleach does the trick...never a problem.

          2. Stains are not a problem, and age is not a problem — grooves cut in the surface are. The UC Davis document cited (which is merely an internal summary of research, not a published study), describes the problem of manual cleaning of grooved boards. The USDA/FSIS recommends discarding plastic cutting boards with scarred surfaces.

            Do you have a dishwasher? Does it have a sanitizing rinse cycle? I use a separate polyethelene board for meats, and I wash it in the dishwasher after each use using the high-temperature cycles.