Foodsafe Finishes

Nontoxic Treatments For Your Woodenware

By Michael Dresdner

Now and then, our woodworking projects end up in the kitchen or dining room. And when they do, those that come into contact with food—counter-tops, cutting boards, bowls, spoons, ctc.—should have a food-safe finish on them. But there's some confusion about which finishes are food-safe.

One easy way around the dilemma is to buy a finish advertised as safe for contact with food, such as Masters Blend Preserve Wood Finish or Behlen's Salad Bowl Finish. Although these two oil finishes do not carry specific FDA approval, thc\ contain only ingredients that arc permitted tor contact with food. Masters Blend Preserve is solvent-free and is actuallv edible even in its liquid state, while the Behlen finish is safe only after the solvent evaporates (about 72 hours).

But there arc plenty of common-sense finishing options that use edible or nontoxic materials mtM you can find in the grocery store or tool catalog:

need to rejuvenate the surface with a fresh wipe of oil when the wood starts to look dry or chalky.

As a rule, oils derived from nuts and seeds will drv and form a film, while

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