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Is that Mould on Jamie Oliver's Wooden Cutting Boards?

I can't help it, I do love Jamie Oliver. One of Jamie's things in his 30 Minute TV series is to suggest that the prepared dish be served on a normal wood cutting board, right after its prepared. Eg in one eppy he serves a nicely dressed, long roast beef sandwich straight on the board after prepping it with juices dripping on same board. It does look quite nice. But I notice that often, the boards he uses for both cutting and serving look very mouldy in some areas. I'm trying to find a youtube episode with a very mouldy example for anyone who doesn't know what I mean - but you can kind of see a bit of it here, this is the steak sandwich episode - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isxKwv... (you can kind of see it at the beginning, and at 13:16 you can see the mould on the side of the board, at 15: 11 you can see the dark patches at the corners).

*Is* that black stuff mould or is it the board naturally darkening? If not, what else is it? If yes.. yuck, right? Shouldn't we be bothered that he's sopped up mould juice onto his foot long? I've seen this kind of black staining on boards of other cooking show hosts - i think most recently i saw an extremely stained board on Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers. I do get that same stuff on mine, and it can't be scrubbed off. I just discard my cutting boards once the black stuff gets to a point (the point is far below what i see on jamie's boards). I have a wire rack for cutting boards that is well ventilated and dry them after use there, but I also do dry them on the dish rack (which is even better ventilated) sometimes. They dry fast. Anyway I do have other issues with boards and prefer to get all new cutting boards every few months. I use both wood and the plastic kinds for different purposes. I don't know what kind of wood my wooden cutting boards are made of. I don't immerse the boards in water.

How often do you change your boards? Do your wooden boards get mouldy?

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  1. That video isn't available in all countries. I could probably do a search and come up with a different link.
    I highly doubt that it is mold.
    A new wooden cutting board every few months? I use wood, have had some of the same ones for 30 years. They get horribly abused, get put into water, but air dry them. Wood is naturally anti-microbial. There are threads that discuss wood vs. plastic with lots of opinions and information.
    http://www.chow.com/search?query=wood...

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      Me too wyogal, I have used and abuse mine too for over 40 years, and there is no mold, and no one gets sick from eating what all I put on there.

    2. Research sanitizing and you can save yourself some angst. Wash your cuttings boards and spray with a sanitizing solution made with simple bleach and water....then let air dry..

      With that said, I change my boards when the board gets too many scores into it .....or if the board becomes discolored.. It usually takes a couple of years to get to that point before a change is made.

      4 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        That's the point where my husband gets out the belt sander and gets it down to new wood. A rubbing with warmed mineral oil and it's ready to go.

        1. re: escondido123

          Agree. I do want to point out that only certain cutting boards can be sanded down. Wood and rubber cutting boards are good for that. Polymer plastic... not so much. A study, I read, shows that sanding a poly board can makes it worse.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I was only talking about wood boards; thanks for clarifying.

      2. Never had a cutting board go mouldy. I scrub with hot, soapy water, wipe dry with towel. Most of mine are at least 5 years old.

        1. Hi, t_m:

          Highly doubtful it's mold. IMO, it's some combination of discoloration from staining, spalting, or a high-contrast in the wood itself (e.g., olive, or another wood where the heart/sapwood look different)

          Be not afraid. And waste not your $$ every few months. Or send them my way.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          3 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            hrm.. interesting. i didn't realize people kept their boards for that long. really - years? is it just the wooden ones or the plastic/polymer ones too? sorry for replying to you K, i'm not sure who to reply to but my question is in general to all who have already replied. do you really want my cutting boards? i wouldn't mind giving them over but i'm not sure that's sanitary :)

            so - its not common to switch cutting boards every few months? if it makes a difference, i do live in a warm climate. i don't like having knifemarks in the boards because of the bacteria that can get inside (score marks in wood can't be sanitized, am i right about that ? ) and i'm not keen on bleaching wood. i have actually done some reading on cleaning boards, and i don't like stains or smells on the boards either. i throw away cutting boards once there are fair amount of score marks or stains (it takes a fair amount of time, but nothing like years)

            1. re: timpani_mimi

              I don't use any plastic or polymer boards, only wood because I believe those studies that show it has antimicrobial qualities. There have been countless discussions on sanitizing and you could probably look to those. If I was concerned (which I am not) I would use white vinegar on my boards. But to me, knifemarks happen if you use your boards regularly and I consider them a patina of sorts. As to stains, they disappear pretty quickly with my regular washing of the boards.

              1. re: timpani_mimi

                Hi, t_m:

                Yes, lots of people keep them for many years. There is a thread here about "What's The Oldest Thing You Use?", and one nice Hound told the touching story of a 3-generation board that is >100 years old.

                I was mostly kidding about wanting your boards, but not because of sanitation. I buy used smaller boards for serving bread and pupus all the time. It was just my way of expressing my opinion that it is wasteful and unnecessary to jettison perfectly good cutting boards.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

            2. I cannot see the video, but I don't think it is mold. It is fine really. Like escondido said, if you worry, then you can always use white vinegar, salt, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide to sanitize the cutting board.