What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe?
#11
  
I've been using General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish on some cutting boards lately and kind of like it compared to plain old wipe on poly.  I got to thinking about it and it seems the food safe finish is quite a bit thinner than the poly.  Not being well versed I thought I'd ask what the difference is between food safe and poly?
Mike


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#12
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
After doing some digging I found this article by Bob Flexner on food safe finishes.  It seems most anything that doesn't contain lead or mercury is food safe after a sufficient curing period.

http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/fini...497a.shtml
Mike


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#13
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
As I understand it, the GF Salad Bowl is little more than a thin varnish (as you surmised). (Flexner surmised as much in an article). The difference between it and "poly" (if you mean oil based polyurethane varnish) is only the extra solvents put in for thinning. Any finish on the market now is food safe once completely cured...so if you want to use something else, go ahead. At one time we could sort-of figure out what's in a finish with the MSDS, the changeover to SDS has made that even more difficult than before....now we are more or less clueless. Given the random use of names by the finish manufacturer's it's very hard to discern from the product name whether this is something different or not.
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#14
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
I've gotten the impression, from various things I've read over the years, that the difference between a product labeled as "food safe" and pretty much anything else, is mostly marketing.
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#15
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
(01-24-2017, 11:49 AM)Bill Wilson Wrote: I've gotten the impression, from various things I've read over the years, that the difference between a product labeled as "food safe" and pretty much anything else, is mostly marketing.

Actually, I think the Mfr would have to do testing, pay a fee, and otherwise serve the bureaucracy to put it on the label.  When the base materials are GRAS (generally regarded as safe) it hardly seems worth an effort.

Sort of like "organic" versus "all natural." one takes a bunch of rigamarole, the other doesn't.
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#16
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
I would be careful. I think it is Howard Acheson who pointed out that those finishes which form a hard film can become dangerous when the film is cracked or cut. All kinds of microbes love wet tiny spaces and are exceedingly hard to remove. Great for pepper mills, not so much for cutting boards, dishes, etc.
Thanks,  Curt
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#17
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
I haven't seen Howie post in some time, but here is his advice often repeated and used by many of us here:

Howard Acheson said:
Here is some info on cutting board surface treatment that may be helpful. A film finish is not a good solution as every time you cut or pound on the board you open a pathway to the wood underneath. Juices will get under the finish and lift the finish.

An excellent treatment for wooden food preparation surfaces like cutting boards and butcher blocks is a mixture of mineral oil and either paraffin or beeswax. This is what is used on many commercial wood surfaces. It will last longer and be more protective than just mineral oil. Mineral oil can be found in most supermarkets in the pharmacy section or in a true pharmacy. Paraffin is found in the canning section of the store or in a hardware store.

Heat the oil in a double boiler and shave in some wax. The exact proportions are not critical--a 5-6 parts of oil to one part of wax will work fine. Stir the mixture until all the wax is liquefied. Apply the mixture heavily and let it set 10-12 hours or overnight. Next day do it again and continue until the wood will no longer absorb the finish. Let it set for 10-12 hours and then lightly scrape off any excess. Then buff it with a rag.

Reapply whenever the wood begins to look dry.

Never put a wood board in the dishwasher and don't soak it in dishwater for long periods.
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#18
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
I am not sure that Boiled Linseed oil would be food safe. I believe that it contains metallic dryers such as cobalt that would make it unsafe.
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#19
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
(01-25-2017, 03:14 PM)Scoony Wrote: I am not sure that Boiled Linseed oil would be food safe. I believe that it contains metallic dryers such as cobalt that would make it unsafe.


Déjà vu feeling about this topic which has been discussed previously in my recollection - basically, just about any finish once 'fully cured' is safe on wood that would be used to serve food - even the metallic driers in BLO are likely harmless - some good discussion HERE - I remember Howie leaving his recommendation previously.  For myself, I would not want a film finish (e.g. shellac, poly, etc.) if the food would be cut on the wood, not because of potential ingestion but appearance, nor a non-drying material alone, such as mineral oil.  Dave Smile
Piedmont North Carolina
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#20
  Re: What Makes A Food Safe Finish Food Safe? by gMike (I've been using Gene...)
If no lead in it which none in the US and Canada market, is deemed food safe, after cured. End of story!!!!!
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