Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 4: Nutrition and Food Service

4.9 Food Safety

4.9.0 Cutting Boards

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 3/30/2023.

Cutting boards should be made of nonporous material (does not allow liquid or air to pass through). Programs should choose plastic, marble, glass, or pyroceramic cutting boards. Cutting boards should be scrubbed with hot water and soap, sanitized each time it is used for a different food, or can be cleaned and sanitized in a dishwasher.1

Programs should not use porous wooden cutting boards, boards made with wood pieces, and boards with grooves and cuts. Small and large family child care homes may choose to use bamboo cutting boards instead of plastic. Bamboo cutting boards should be cleaned with hot soapy water, sanitized, and rubbed with mineral oil monthly.1


Inadequate cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards can cause food poisoning outbreaks and infections.2,3 Cutting boards can hold high amounts of bacteria, so they should be regularly sanitized.4

Some wooden boards and boards with cuts, cracks and/or grooves hold on to food or other materials. This can cause bacteria grow on the surface and contaminate the next food that is placed on it (cross-contamination). Surfaces, such as cutting boards, that come into contact with food are common sources of cross-contamination in the kitchen.2 Wooden boards are harder to wash and sanitize than plastic and glass boards, because of their porous surfaces.4 Bamboo absorbs very little moisture and resists damage from knives, so bamboo boards have less bacteria than other woods.1 Bamboo cutting boards need to be maintained with mineral oil to protect from cracks and provide moisture protection.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Food and Safety and Inspection Service. Cutting Boards. Web site. Updated August 2, 2017. Accessed November 20, 2022

  2. Mahyudin NA, Sahil SM, Radu S, Mahmud NK, Rashid A. Multiple drug resistance among Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from cutting boards of commercial food premises: a threat to food and public health safety. Journal of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2019;7(1):48-51. Published July 31, 2019. Accessed November 20, 2022

  3. Malcolm TTH, San Chang W, Loo YY, et al. Simulation of improper food hygiene practices: a quantitative assessment of Vibrio parahaemolyticus distribution. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2018;284:112-119. November 2, 2018. Accessed November 20, 2022

  4. Dantas ST, Rossi BF, Bonsaglia EC, et al. Cross-contamination and biofilm formation by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis on various cutting boards. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 2017;15(2):81-85. Published October 2017. Accessed November 20, 2022


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 3/30/2023.