Restaurant fined for poor hygiene, not using wooden boards

“Birmingham restaurant fined £50,000 over wooden serving boards”

It is important to get this news story into perspective before the ‘down with wood’ brigade bring out their flags, polish up their batons and prepare to march.  The headline is, as ever, misleading.

The whole restaurant had numerous hygiene issues that contributed to the fine. The wooden ‘plates’ in question “were in such a damaged condition they could no longer effectively be cleaned and disinfected and presented a risk of contamination to food”.

This would be the same problem you would have if you were trying to serve food from any badly damaged, dirty surface – you would, and should, be called out for it.  No difference for wood.

One of our key points with wood for food service is that, with a little care, it should last a very long time.  It has been tested and proven to be extremely hygienic when cared for


The food boards Oak&Ford make are from top-quality oak and produced as a single piece.  The quality is important as defects in the wood is where damage starts. Single piece is a priority for us as when you start gluing two pieces of wood together, you immediately have two problems, the glue that you are using (food safety tested, effectiveness in a food environment etc.) and the reduced lifespan of that board; at some point the join is where a weakness will develop.

Once there are cracks in your wood, you should no longer serve food from it.  You are unable to clean the board effectively, and these deep cracks will harbour bacteria.  The idea that wood is ‘rustic’ therefore the more worn and used the better just does not apply to foodservice, you still need to have your hygiene head on.

It is not hard to keep your boards well maintained.  As many of our customers tell us, our products last so long, they rarely need to re-order!  Just remember, wood is not waterproof and should never go in the dishwasher – or read this to find out more:  or  Contact us.

Step away from the bandwagon, wood is a fantastic product for service of your food.