Food Safe Wood Finish (Part 1 of 2)

I have been creating wood items for several years now.  A lot of those items are for use in the kitchen or are intended used with food.  Clearly, the finish on those products needs to be food safe.

While researching food safe finishes, I discovered some interesting facts and opinions.  I would have to say that the most interesting is that there are two schools of thought on the issue of food safe finishes.

The first ‘school’ of thought is that all finishes are food safe when they are dry.  That may seem counter intuitive until you realize that the toxic part of most (if not all) finishes is the delivery method.  Meaning, the actual finish isn’t toxic in most cases, the liquid in which the finish is dissolved is.  So, once the liquid delivery method has evaporated (which basically means the finish is dry) then the piece is food safe.  Case in point, your kitchen table.  Typically when someone refinishes a kitchen table with some sort of polyurethane, they don’t go out and find a food safe polyurethane.  They simply go to their local home improvement store and buy what is on the shelf.  None of those are specifically designed to be food safe.  Yet, over time, things are set, dropped and spilled on the finish and eaten.  I can say from experience, that any exposure to toxic materials is minimal at best.  So, while I don’t subscribe to this theory for my handmade products, I feel that it is likely true.

Published in: on March 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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