How to maintain your cutting boards

I'm somehow down to one very old, very scratched plastic cutting board in my kitchen that over time has developed an unfortunate u-shape (which makes it especially hard, and probably dangerous, to cut on). This lame state of affairs has had me thinking it's time to update my supply-and my maintenance habits.

My first order of business is buying new cutting boards. Much as I love the beauty and organic quality of wood, at the end of the day I prefer the ease of the plastic variety (they're more lightweight and less work to clean)-but clearly that's a personal preference. No matter what you choose, it's a good idea to buy a couple boards: one for veggies and fruits, and another for meats to avoid cross-contamination (I like these Oxo ones with non-slip grips so they don't slide on countertops, plus they come in different colors so you can easily tell your meat and veggie boards apart). I also like having a smaller one in the rotation for quick, little tasks like chopping herbs.

And after making the investment, I'm also planning on re-vamping my sanitation standards (after all, cutting boards are one of the germ-iest spots in your kitchen). Besides giving them a good strong rinse in the dishwasher, it's also a good idea to disinfect them about once a week (or more if you're a germaphobe). After you've washed and dried your board, spray it down with undiluted distilled white vinegar and let it sit for a half hour before wiping it down. This kills Salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful bacteria. Repeat with hydrogen peroxide to ensure a super-clean surface.