Cutting Boards

Should You Use Different Cutting Boards for Meat and Produce?

Should You Use Different Cutting Boards for Meat and Produce?Aksenya /Shutterstock

Cutting boards are must-have kitchen tools for home cooks. They protect your knives and keep your counter clean. They also have another function that’s often neglected: to protect your food from cross-contamination.

Raw red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread bacteria to other foods. Because of their pores, cutting boards can be a friendly environment to these bacteria (on some occasions, even after they’ve been washed). If you use the same cutting board for meat and eggs as you do for produce and cheeses, you can transfer bacteria to them. This is called cross-contamination.

Should you use different cutting boards for meat and produce? Yes, you should use one cutting board for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, and another one for produce, cheeses, and ready-to-eat foods. This way, you can avoid cross-contamination.