Microbial Safety of Wood in Contact with Food

Microbial Safety of Wood in Contact with Food

In A Corona Virus Filled World


October 6, 2020



Food packaging is multifunctional: it protects from harvest to table. Four main groups of materials for direct food contact are mentioned in the literature: wood, glass, plastic, and metal. In this review, the focus is on wooden packaging for direct contact with food. In Europe, wood as a food contact material is subject to European Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 states that materials must not transfer their constituents to food.

Today, wooden packaging, like other packaging materials, does not have a Europe‚Äźwide harmonized specific regulation, so member countries legislate at different levels. Wood has been safely used for centuries in contact with food but is usually questioned because of its microbiological behavior compared with smooth surfaces. Based on a review of published conclusions from scientific studies over the last 20 years and after a description of the general properties of wooden packaging, we focus on the microbiological status of natural wood.

The Holland Cutting Board Co. strives to make certain that all of our cutting boards surfaces are smooth for the continued surfaced protection against bacteria and viruses. We take what we call “Total Board Surface Protection” or our “No Home Zone” very seriously when it comes to manufacturing our boards. Its all about safety just as its important in wearing a mask keeping your hands clean preventing cross-contamination and so on.

Then, we discuss the parameters influencing the survival of microorganisms on wood. Finally, we report on the transfer of microorganisms from wood to food and the factors influencing this phenomenon. In this review we have demonstrated that the very porous nature of wood, especially when compared with smooth surfaces, is not responsible for the limited hygiene of the material used in the food industry and that it may even be an advantage for its microbiological status. We ensure that our end grain and edge grain are sealed to prevent food particles becoming trapped in those wood cells.

In fact, its rough or porous surface often generates unfavorable conditions for microorganisms. In addition, we have taken extra precaution in creating a board surface that continues to offer our wood that has the particular characteristic of producing antimicrobial components able to inhibit or limit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

If you have any questions about our cutting boards you can use the form below. We would be happy to answer your questions. 

Holland Cutting Board Company