Butcher block, countertop and portable cutting boards are popular kitchen work areas but these utilitarian surfaces can be the source of harmful bacteria. To ensure your prep surfaces do not contaminate your food, be sure not to cut fruit and vegetables on the same surface as raw meats, poultry or fish, unless the surface has been sanitized between tasks. Any cutting area, plastic or wooden, will absorb and hold bacteria if its surface has been scarred by a sharp knife. A basic wash is not sufficient to remove the contamination. As a result, sanitizing with bleach or vinegar and then allowing time for the board to thoroughly dry is a necessary precaution. Typically, having one board dedicated exclusively for meat, poultry, and fish, and another for fruit and vegetables, is the most practical solution. For convenience, use a plastic board for the one used to cut raw meat so you can pop it in the dishwasher for sanitization.