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Cutting board has slits... is this a problem?

De9e381a d447 48ef 9726 110748d8acfa  slitted thai cutting board

Hi, I recently bought a wooden cutting board in a local market in Thailand. The board is basically a round slice of a tree. Once I got home and unpacked it I realised that the wood has dozens of small radial slits. The market was not touristic at all so I believe they actually use them like this, the lady who sold it to me said it could last 10 years. But I wonder... inevitably food will lodge there and that's a health concern. Now I've just coated it with coconut oil but that's not enough to seal the slits.

I like the board.

So my question is: should this be a concern? And if so, is there any way to solve it (even though it's now seasoned with oil)?

Thanks, Nuno

asked by nununo almost 5 years ago
15 answers 4038 views
D1964e69 bde7 422d 9621 9d8c1f7bc3cf  newliztoqueicon 2
added almost 5 years ago

Toss it! Married to a doc, you do not want to hear his lecture about bacteria.

9b94e94b 0205 4f2c bb79 1845dcd6f7d6  uruguay2010 61
added almost 5 years ago

Food particles will collect in any cracks or slits in the wood, which translates into bacteria or worst pathogens forming. You can try to fill with an epoxy or wood filler, though the oil probably will not allow it to bone to the wood properly. I would not use this cutting board for preparing food, due to food safety. It could end up as a trivet.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

I use tree rounds like this to display cakes/wedding cakes.

79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 5 years ago

Well, I'm not a doctor but I look like one, and I'm getting paid to tell you that....

Personally I happen to like Chinese iron wood boards. The advice I would offer would be to soak it in the sink over night and then rub it down with an appropriate cutting board oil. You'll be surprised that some of those cracks will actually close up. But then I am a risk taker and these boards are kind to your knives if not maybe your GI.

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added almost 5 years ago

How about using sandpaper to buff down the ridges?

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Thank you for your answers. As I thought, it is not good. I don't think sandpaper would do it from what I see. I'll try to soak it as pierino suggested before tossing it, but until I try it, I'll avoid using it. It's sad.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

I wonder what kind of wood it is.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I don't know what kind of wood it is. The seller didn't speak a single word of English. I just know that there were two kinds (one was around $6 and the other around 9$) and I got the more expensive one which she said would last for 10 years.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I'll definitely not throw it away. But I think I won't be cutting food on it. Unless I manage to get rid of the slits.

671b6c39 4898 435f 92c5 89cd9b925088  img 3788
added almost 5 years ago

All wooden cutting boards end up with small slits from where the knife hits. This is why I use only special designated plastic for cutting chicken or meat and then clean it really thoroughly with soap and a bleach cleaner.
I really don't see a problem using this for cutting veggies so long as you clean it after each use. Clearly there a lot of people in Thailand who use them and are still alive and kicking. If you are too nervous about it, though, how about using it as a cheese board for parties? You can clean it by sprinkling on coarse salt, then lemon and scrub. Also a mixture of vinegar and water for everyday cleaning.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

PhillipBrandon, somehow I had skipped over your answer. Only now I read it. Those antibacterial properties in wood may explain why they use it without any problem. That puts things in a new perspective. I'll research a little more and I'll send a couple of emails to some people in Thailand I know there.

lloreen,if it is a no go for food prep, actually regardless of using it for food prep, a cheese is a great idea! I'll definitely do that.

Once again, thank you all!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Meanwhile i filled all the cracks with bee wax and now all is fine ;)

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added over 4 years ago

That's great! I was going to suggest using what has been going around the internet as "wood Butter." bon appetit jsut posted a little blurb about it and many bloggers have recipes. Hardlikearmour mentioned she's done it on another hotline thread.

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