OK, I changed my mind again. Went to a local drug store and they were
out of their budget bottles of mineral oil, but I was still uncertain
anyway. Read a lot of stuff online on the subject and I'm inclined right
now to agree with this post, which spells out THIS opinion (using
nothing is the best defense against bacteria) better than any other I've
Message 11 in thread
From: Mark J. Cintala ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Re: Food grade finish?
View this article only
I can't remember where I read it ("Science News," I think, so it was a
summary of the original report), but a study was done at a university
about that. The bottom line was that bacteria and other bugs were
least likely to grow and do their evil stuff if a cutting board of
untreated wood were used. Plastic apparently was the worst. I think
one of the suggestions was that the tannic acid in the wood acted like
a natural antiseptic or something like that. They specifically
recommended *not* to treat the wood of a cutting board if you're
interested in keeping the bacteria count down. Gee. Like, there are
people out there who want it to be high, maybe?
Mark J. Cintala | I speak for myself, I guess.
email@example.com | Wait a minute -- lemme check...
Then there's this one http://www.hhp.ufl.edu/keepingfit/ARTICLE/BOARDS.HTM
I think Jeff Gorman has a reference on his site as well.
As I see it, bacteria with lipid cell walls find non-drying oil a lot more
comfortable a medium for concealment and spore formation than water and
surfactant, which destroy the cell walls.
Old boys used to lay salt on their chopping boards, but that's not
convenient for small stuff.
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