My new plastic cutting boards have a textured surface. Is this unsanitary?

The textured surface consists of tiny bumps molded into the surface. The pitch of the bumps is about 1mm.

  • A photo would help... (the edges and surface structure of the bumps e.g.)
    – user34961
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 7:36
  • I'm not sure if it's unsanitary or not but many plastic cutting boards are treated with triclosan (which has been linked to hormone disruption, etc.)
    – padma
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


I read this post and had to comment. cutting boards are usually 2 sided, one side textured the other not textured. the textures side is great for grinding garlic, onions, crushing herbs, holding slippery veggies in place. the flavors from pasting using the back of the blade by running minced garlic or onion across a textured board is amazing.

I'm not saying it replaces my mortar and pestle, but for a quick grind of any herbs is really nice across a good textured board.

Also, filleting and de skinning fish is always done on the textures side. it's too slippery and dangerous using a smooth surface.

The smooth side is all about cutting meat. I don't like using the textured side for meat at all. And the smooth side for sashimi is a must. Doing large volume food prep, it's good to have a textured board on a damp towel for all the veggies and herbs. And a second board that's smooth for meats. the damp towel helps with counter sliding since veggies are on the lighter side and usually require many more chops.

When doing a quick dish, I just use 1 board on a damp towel and do my veggies first, then flip it over and do meats on the smooth side.

  • This is interesting! However, all of my cutting boards are textured on both sides. I'll have to keep my eyes open, but I think most cheap cutting boards anyway are all the same texture, and effectively become one sided due to warping anyway. If you're paying 5-10 bucks for a cutting board, that thing can go through the dishwasher lol.
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 23:49

There is another disadvantage to consider with very acute knives (eg sashimi knives, usuba bocho, gyutos sharpened to 12 degrees per side or below) on these kinds of boards: The edge tends to get trapped between the bumps, and instead of camming out, can be bent out of alignment if torque is accidentally applied to the blade (easily happens with rock chopping/walking techniques). Also, you tend to get unclean cuts (similar to a tear-off perforation) at times because the edge bites into the bumps while the food is pushed between them (can happen eg when cutting very elastic foods, like raw dough).

Also, the anti-slip effect from that texture is questionable at best, these boards can be even more slippery on some surfaces - if textured both sides, they can also slide around on your work surface (this is dangerous!) even more than if they were smooth - some mitigation can be achieved by putting towels or paper between the surfaces...

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