Cutting board marked "dry food only"
January 11, 2019 6:05 PM   Subscribe

I just bought a cutting board at Marshall's and when I got home, saw that it's marked "for dry food only." This seems to defeat the purpose of the board if I can't cut vegetables on it. Do you know why it is likely to have been marked like that? I'm aware of standard wooden cutting board care/washing/drying/oiling etc. Should I sand the surface off and use a food safe oil? Or is it fine to use for vegetables, just not for raw meats? Any ideas? The board is from Tommy Bahama but is not currently available on their website or anywhere I could find online for more info.
posted by argylekneesocks to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've never come across that designation either, but I suspect they're telling you not to use it for things like a roast turkey - the sort of thing you might ordinarily use a well-and-tree cutting board to catch the juices - but dampish items like vegetables should be totally fine to cut on it.

Not an answer to your question, but related: Contact with water raises the wood grain, so as soon as you finish rinsing or washing a wood cutting board, dry it immediately. Also, I learned from someone who actually makes fancy cutting boards that you should rub the board with one of those green scrubbies to smooth the grain before oiling it. I'd never heard that bit about the green scrubbies before but I'm happy to report that it really keeps the cutting board in like-new condition longer.
posted by DrGail at 6:51 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]

A pic of the board might help? It might even mean that they do not reccomend cutting tomatoes or beets on it, because it may discolor the wood/finish.

The USDA guidelines on cutting boards do not mention any wet/dry distinctions.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:27 PM on January 11

I have to wonder if it's more of a serving platter and has a core of compressed wood-ish materials, but of course you would know this because it would immediately feel too light to be wood / plastic. But even then it doesn't make much sense. Surely you're expected to be able to wash it? If you can wash it, why can't you cut vegetables on it?

It really doesn't make much sense to me either, and I would return it if it was convenient; if not, I'd just risk "ruining" the board by cutting something cheap and moist on it, to see what happened.

(maybe the coating might rub off? But that can't be safe for dry foods either...)
posted by batter_my_heart at 7:59 PM on January 11 [7 favorites]

It might have been part of a set that’s marked to avoid cross-contamination. I’ve seen sets that have separate boards for meats, fruit/veg, breads and they’re permanently labeled.
posted by quince at 9:45 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]

Call Tommy Bahama customer service?
posted by bunderful at 4:32 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

I would conclude that it is not safe for meat or poultry, because the surface has not been treated. Probably just fine for fruits and vegetables.
posted by yclipse at 7:40 AM on January 12

If it's not a single piece of wood the pieces it's made from might have been attached to each other by water-soluble glue? From sad experience I know this is the case for a well-known, expensive brand of table!
posted by anadem at 12:12 PM on January 12

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