Taking things a little out of order, Chris, let's look at your last point first:
> Incidentally, all bets are off as far as wooden boards vs. plastic if your dishwasher has a "sanitize" cycle,<
I know you know better than this. When it comes to dish washers, all bets are off period with wood. Putting a wooden board in the dishwasher is even dumber than the example Dave cited. You just don't submerge wood in water for any length of time.
>David's expert advice here does not suggest a method that takes "a few seconds." <
Have to disagree again. There are two different things going on when we say "between uses." There is the "I just finished with the chicken, now I have to cut the veggies," and there is the "I'm finished with the board for this meal."
For the first it literally is just a few seconds. Wipe the board to remove surface grease and liquids. Stand in sink. Rinse. Scrub with a Dobie and detergent. Rinse. Wipe dry. The whole thing shouldn't take more than a minute.
If a minute is too long, just reverse the sequence. Prep all your veggies first, wipe the board, then do the protein. I'm not proposing this one way or another, just showing that there are alternatives.
Even if you sanitize between each use, it shouldn't take any time at all if you keep a bottle of bleach/water on hand.
>Plastic boards are biochemically neutral, so bacteria just sort of sit there.<
That would be true with a pristine board. But as soon as one of them is used it develops scratches and gouges from knife work. Turns out, those are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria; especially in the warm environment of a kitchen, and the moist environment of a plastic board.
>Wood boards tend to absorb water and dry the bacteria, creating a hostile environment (that's the super-simple version of it, anyway).<
Not super simple at all, Chris. That's exactly what happens. Combined with the natural anti-microbial nature of most woods, the little buggies don't stand a chance.
>Yes, we should all develop these things, but the fact is that a great many home cooks don't have them. Some who do drop them when they have very little time to slap everything together and get dinner on the table. All I'm saying is that it is worth having two boards.<
Yes it's worth having two boards, or even more. But this reasoning is falacious. A person such as you describe isn't going to change boards in the middle of prep work. And, whether it's a wood board or a synthetic, they'll still cross contaminate. At most they'll use a paper towel to wipe away the gook from the protein.
The irony is that that sort of person is more likely to have a synthetic board because he/she can just toss it into the dishwasher when prep work is done. But based on the studies, they'd be better off with a wood board.
I am not proposing such activity. As I said before, poor sanitation is poor sanitation, and there's no getting around it.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling