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Thread: wood cutting boards in a commercial kitchen

  1. #1
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    wood cutting boards in a commercial kitchen

    I feel a little ashamed to be asking this because I have worked in commercial kitchens for a number of years: are there any laws forbidding me from using a wood cutting board at work? I am sure this varies from state to state. I did some googling but haven't been able to find any definitive answers. After a report in 1994 the industry started to move away from wood boards. I have been told a number of times that wood boards were banned here in Oregon. I can not find any solid evidence that is true. To complicate this matter, I work in a kitchen that is not regulated by the county I live in but rather the state (or more specifically- quasi-self regulated which is a bunch of bs- but another topic altogether).

    I am really tired of using the provided poly boards. They suck! I am very willing to pack a wood board into work as long as it doesn't go against any laws. I highly doubt that anyone would say a word about me doing it.

    Cheers,
    rj

    Last edited by skewed; 10-12-2016 at 01:57 AM. Reason: better title :)

  2. #2
    Senior Member kielasaurus's Avatar
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    They might say something because people hate change and things that are different. I would recommend getting yourself a Hi-Soft or other rubber type board that is more forgiving on your knives and is able to be sanitized in a way that the state deems appropriate.


  3. #3
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    Epicurean-style boards, maybe (dishwasher safe wood fibre boards)? I guess that they are loud as a snare drum, especially with the feet on, won't matter in a busy commercial kitchen

  4. #4
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    I work in California and use a wooden board for produce prep at work. I don't know if it's against the law, but nobody has said anything to me yet. I keep it clean and sanitized and it goes away after I'm done with that part of my day everyday.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Danzo's Avatar
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    We use only plastic style at both my kitchens. Not sure if it's illegal or not. But if there's any state that would allow it I think Oregon is it. You guys don't have glove laws over there, which is awesome. Not that I wear them anyway because I keep my hands clean and gloves mess with my cutting. But it still sucks that those are the rules here in WA

  6. #6
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    daveb's Avatar
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    +1 on hi-soft. Inch for inch it's much lighter than wood, kind to knives, easy to sanitize and keeps everybody happy. Amazon has them just north of $100.
    Older and wider..

  7. #7
    Senior Member S-Line's Avatar
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    Wood cutting board isn't technically banned here in the state of Georgia, but we've had difficulty during our health inspections depending on the health inspector. And if you do decide to use a wood cutting board at work, I would recommend that you get several so you can have different ones for meats/veggie etc.

    IMO for a commercial kitchen, I would recommend hi-soft just like others have stated. Or if you can find a retailer who sells hasagawa soft cutting boards, I actually liked those better than hi-soft.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the responses. I think I will just give it a go. I have extra boards at home (an old line board that I planed flat and chopped in half- was ~5'x15"). If I get any grief I will probably lay down the cash for a Hi-Soft.

    Speaking of Hi-Soft, are there any fairly common brick and mortar stores that carry them?

    Cheers,
    rj

  9. #9
    Senior Member kielasaurus's Avatar
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    Not that I've seen, unless you're near Korin (if they still carry them).

  10. #10

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    I'm governed by the (Federal) Tri-Service Food Code which states:

    4-101.17 Wood, use limitation
    (A) Except as specified in ¶¶ (B), (C), and (D) of this section, wood and wood wicker may
    not be used as a FOOD-CONTACT SURFACE.
    (B) Hard maple or an equivalently hard, close-grained wood may be used for:
    (1) Cutting boards, cutting blocks, bakers’ tables, and UTENSILS such as rolling pins,
    doughnut dowels, salad bowls, sushi bamboo rolls, chopsticks; and
    (2) Wooden paddles used in confectionery operations for pressure scraping kettles when
    manually preparing confections at a temperature of 230oF (110oC) or above.

    Not sure how closely individual States follow this model.

    “Though I could not caution all, I still might warn a few; Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools.” Robert Hunter

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