Two restaurants in the UK (one a steakhouse and the other a Greek restaurant) have reportedly coped hefty fines for serving food on wooden planks instead of plates.
The fines came after the restaurants ignored advice from Birmingham health inspectors regarding the cleanliness of their serving boards.
With many clubs and pubs opting into the serving board trend its worth noting that a New South Wales Food Authority spokesperson has told The New Daily wooden and plastic cutting boards along with serving boards were “all safe” to use in the kitchen, as long as health and safety guidelines were adhered to.
“As with any surface that comes into contact with food items, their cleanliness and maintenance are key to preventing microbial cross-contamination,” the spokesperson said.
The NSW Food Authority said the problem lies with serving boards that have deep gouges.
“These lacerations can cause bacteria to become trapped and cross-contaminate food,” the NSW Food Authority said.
“If cutting or serving boards cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitised because of damage to the surface, they should be replaced with new boards.”
The authority said ideally wooden cutting boards should have a smooth, hard surface and be dense enough to resist slice marks that harbour bacteria – and must be easy to clean.
“It may be worthwhile to use an oil or wax treatment for the wooden board to prevent absorption of water, mould growth, germs and to repel food particles being lodged on the surface.”
But the hygiene of wooden serving boards is not the only concern with some restaurant goers championing a campaign to forgo rustic style and novelty.
A Twitter campaign called WeWantPlates posts photographs of food on strange surfaces and containers, on a “global crusade against food on bits of wood and roof slates”.
Sources: The Daily News, Hospitality Directory / Goodfood.com. au