According to a microbiologist, the safest, healthiest sort of cutting board for chicken is one made of resin.

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When it comes to the dirtiest locations in your kitchen, your cutting board ranks right up there with your sponge and sink. “A chopping board has more fecal bacteria than a toilet,” claims Dr. Chuck Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.

Cutting boards come into frequent touch with everything from raw to cooked and washed to unclean foods. And most of the time, people just rinse it off, rather than properly disinfecting the cutting board.

That unpleasant fact may become a health hazard when it comes to chicken. Because uncooked chicken and its liquids might harbor germs such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens that cause foodborne illnesses, you should use particular care when cutting with your preferred chopping board.

When it comes to selecting and employing a cutting board with chicken, there are two keys: being confident that it can be completely sanitized, and avoiding cross-contamination.

Gerba advises cleaning a cutting board in the dishwasher, where the high heat and detergent will destroy any harmful germs. Although a thorough hand washing with a kitchen cleanser and hot water may suffice, the dishwasher is the best option. As a result, Gerba prefers plastic cutting boards to wooden ones. Any kind of plastic will work; as long as it fits in your dishwasher.

Use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination. “You can get salmonella in a salad without even knowing it,” Gerba adds. Consider color-coded cutting boards like these Cooler Kitchen Cutting Board Mats, which make tracking easy while being dishwasher safe.

Do you have a favorite plastic cutting board? Please share your thoughts on it in the comments.