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Plastic cutting and chopping board

Synthetic and heavy duty plastic food preparation boards have now become the most common type in the UK.

Wooden boards were the frontrunner for years but many kitchen enthusiasts have switched to synthetic alternatives for hygiene and cleaning reasons - although some experts claim wooden boards are still more hygienic.

Plastic and synthetic boards are also available in an extensive range of colours and shapes because the material itself offers great scope when it comes to moulding and styling in the manufacturing process.

Plastic Cutting Boards are dishwasher safe and kitchen friendly

Plastic boards also have the obvious advantage over wooden boards in that they are usually dishwasher-safe and very low maintenance. A melamine, polyethylene or plastic chopping board is very easy to clean and will not crack if placed in your dishwasher.

It must, however, be pointed out that synthetic and plastic boards are invariably harsher than wood on the blade edge of a knife or other cutting tool.

Thinner plastic cutting boards are usually cheaper than the thicker versions - but it’s worth bearing in mind it may be better to pay a bit more for a stronger one which can better withstand the heat of a dishwasher and is less likely to warp over time.

Safety should always be to the fore when using a chopping board and even the slightest warp can make it unstable and create the potential for an accident.

As with any chopping board, it’s crucial to clean your plastic version thoroughly to avoid any health risks - research has shown that bacteria, such as salmonella, can thrive on plastic boards.

Plastic and synthetic boards accumulate a series of long shallow slits caused by the knife and that’s where germs can build up. Hand-washing alone is often not powerful enough to remove them so they will need to be disinfected thoroughly or placed in a dishwasher.

Just like the traditional wooden chopping board, the synthetic plastic variety has been around for many years but is still an essential accessory in the kitchen for many people.

Plastic boards are available in all shapes and sizes and some come with colourful patterns or logos on them on a variety of different themes.

There’s also plenty of choice when it comes to colour – plastic boards are available in dark colours such as black, grey and purple, but there’s a wide choice in bright shades of blue, yellow, green, white and orange, so you won’t have any trouble finding one to match the colour scheme of your kitchen.

The arrival of many new synthetic materials, such as low density polyethylene, in recent years means you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to plastic food preparation boards and now they are probably as commonplace as the wooden variety. They are usually anti bacterial and reversible for good measure. The most popular shape for a plastic board is rectangular but you’ll find other options here too including square and oval and round.

When preparing meals there are many occasions when you just can't be without a chopping board - it's handy to have one available for cutting and chopping vegetables, meat and fruits.

It's essential to remember to wash your chopping board thoroughly after use to avoid the risk of food poisoning due to harmful bacteria.

Plastic boards have the advantage being dishwasher safe which means they are washed at a very high temperature and any harmful bacteria what has built up on the board will be killed off.

Wooden kitchen boards are not dishwasher safe because of the porous nature of the wood so it's difficult to wash them by hand at a high temperature and consequently there is always a risk that bacteria may continue to thrive even after watching. Plastic boards are relatively cheap and are also available in colour-coded chopping boards sets which allow the user to allocate a specific colour for each type of foodstuff, whether it be meat, fruit or vegetables.

Among the attractions of a plastic chopping board are the fact they are made from high density plastic and they can withstand high levels of heat, use and washing. Another big plus is the fact they are generally stain resistant, easy to clean and non-absorbent.

Non-porous surfaces such as glass and plastic are the best choice for cutting boards when it comes to food safety. They are easier to clean and will not harbour hidden bacteria, as a wooden cutting board might. Glass cutting boards do not make a lot of sense in a busy industrial or food production environment.

Plastic cutting boards can be wiped down quickly, thrown into a washing machine regularly and also sanitised easily using a simple chlorine solution. Unlike wooden boards, they will not warp, split or crack and are the most cost effective choice for your commercial kitchen, food production or domestic environment.

Some families prefer plastic cutting mats over a thick plastic board. Mats tend to be thinner without sacrificing durability and they are, of course, lighter in weight. Cutting mats come in all sizes and colours, including green, blue, yellow, black, purple, pink, white and red.