Re: A Wood finish
- Thank you, Paul for your quick response. This is becoming a good
conversation. To preface my response, I would like to say I prefer
to use a wooden board. Its easier on the cutting blades, and I clean
up soon after cutting, especially meats.
Your first source, was very interesting...
But I would like to point out...
"Although the bacteria that have disappeared from the wood surfaces
are found alive inside the wood for some time after application, they
evidently do not multiply, and they gradually die. They can be
detected only by splitting or gouging the wood or by forcing water
completely through from one surface to the other. If a sharp knife is
used to cut into the work surfaces after used plastic or wood has
been contaminated with bacteria and cleaned manually, more bacteria
are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood
surface." (Quote from article)
Really, the article stated that wood is OK, and actaully better than
plastic if both are scarred from cutting. This doesn't mean wood is
antibacterial, or even safe. Just better than plastic if both are
scarred. I think what is not said in the article about lingering
contamination beacons back to what I said before about anaerobic
conditions. If you saturate your wood; replace air in the pores with
water, the bacteria can stay alive a lot longer, where plastic is
hydrophillic (repels water), and you wouldn't have that problem.
This source also doesn't comment about wood being antibacterial..
But it DOES comment about sanitation practices,
"A mild bleach solution will decontaminate plastic and other
surfaces. But even at full strength, bleach does not sanitize wood
cutting boards. The disinfectant quality of bleach is neutralized by
the organic composition of wood. A good procedure for disinfecting
both wood and plastic cutting boards, as well as other surfaces and
utensils, is to spray them first with a mist of vinegar, then with a
mist of hydrogen peroxide." (quote from article)
Note, Bleach is totally ineffective against contamination on wood, I
didn't know that and will adjust my own cleaning practices. Thanks.
You need to read your source on this one again.
"However, more recent studies by the Food and Drug Administration
found that microorganisms became trapped in wood surfaces and were
difficult to dislodge by rinsing. Once trapped, bacteria survive in a
dormant stage for long periods of time. The next time the cutting
board is used, these bacteria could contaminate other foods,
potentially causing food-borne illness. On the other hand, the study
found that microorganisms were easily washed off plastic surfaces."
(Quote from FDA article)
The last source really didn't say anything one way or the other, so I
won't comment on it.
Thanks again Paul, for the response. Its always a good thing to get
views from different perspectives to explore the "bigger picture" of
Donato, Proprietor of Rifugio Del Bacchus.
Heres a study on salmonella that shows the bacteria was pulled into
the wood, dehydrated and killed, did not multiply, and was not
available to contaminate on the surface.
On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 6:33 AM, donat0 <donat0@...> wrote:
>> Wood is a natural antibiotic, which is why wooden cutting boards are
>> safer than plastic.
> I don't mean to pick nits here, but I believe this is dangerous
> misinformation. Could you please show us a source showing this is
> true? Children are supposed to be exposed to contaminants to build
> strong immune systems, but to claim sanitary values for kitchen
> equipment is not good.
> One of the most common transfer points of Salmonella is through
> improperly cleaned wooden cutting boards- the bacteria can live for
> weeks if the board is saturated. Admittedly, most dangerous
> bacteria's are aneorobic (must have no oxygen to live), and wood by
> nature creates an aerobic environment, I think to assume its safe
> because its wood beacons us back to "Assume means....."
> "Pieces of raw and painted wood were observed in the firm's class 100
> and class 1,000 rooms. Wood is porous, difficult to disinfect, can
> allow for the growth of bacteria and mold and contamination of the
> I am sorry, I don't mean to contradict anybody, but we must always
> maintain a higher sanitation priority when preparing food for other
> Donato Del Giardinier, Proprietor Rifugio Del Bacchus.
- The bottom line on cutting boards is, both wood and plastic are safe if
you keep them clean and keep them dry - and neither are safe if you do
not. The differences between the two materials are interesting but
negligible in terms of personal use. (Commercial food preparation use
patterns are very different, the materials have less chance to dry out
as they are in use more continuously, so bacteria populations can build
Wash well, wipe with vinegar, keep dry between uses, and you'll be safe
with either material.
Now back to the original question - as others noted, no finish at all is
probably best for this application, but in practice all modern finishes
are safe when fully cured. Bob Flexner has been trying for years to
combat the persistent belief that wood finishes are toxic. They are
not. But if you don't believe him, use shellac - it is in fact
food-safe, used to coat pills, among other things.
- donat0 <donat0@...> wrote:I don't mean to pick nits here, but I believe this is dangerous misinformation. Could you please show us a source showing this is true? Children are supposed to be exposed to contaminants to build strong immune systems, but to claim sanitary values for kitchen equipment is not good.Um......wrong.One of the most common transfer points of Salmonella is through improperly cleaned wooden cutting boards- the bacteria can live for weeks if the board is saturated.Sorry.....read the item below.
"Pieces of raw and painted wood were observed in the firm's class 100 and class 1,000 rooms. Wood is porous, difficult to disinfect, can allow for the growth of bacteria and mold and contamination of the environment. "
Donato Del Giardinier, Proprietor Rifugio Del Bacchus..
RdATools alone do not a craftsman make.
- Bob Flexner, author of "Understanding Wood Finishing", wrote an
article for the Spring 2008 American Woodturner. He says that all the
"Salad Bowl Finishes", etc., are simply alkyd varnishes thinned with
mineral spirits - "wiping varnishes." They contain the same driers as
any other varnish and are no more or less safe. All the driers used
in varnish and drying oils like BLO are approved by the FDA (Bob says
to google "21CFR175.300" and click on the top link). His contention
is that all finishes - varnish, drying oils, lacquer, etc. are
"food-safe" after they have fully cured.
Given that information, what finish would handle rough use over time
best? A surface finish, like poly, lays on top of the wood, and
provides good protection from water, drool, etc. An oil like BLO
soaks in, but offers little protection at the surface. I'd go with
what works best for you on other projects.
--- In email@example.com, "lambdakennels1@..."
>Rockler or Woordcraft. I have a can. It says it is child safe after
> You can get a can of "toy maker finish" from a wood store such as
three or four coats when cured 48 hours after the last coat. I have
not used it -- stopped making things that needed that sort of thing,
so can't tell you how it does.
> Stephanie Smith, Ph.D
> Owned by a Poodle and an Australian Cattle Dog
> -- "i_griffen" <i_griffen@...> wrote:
> Can anyone recommend a wood finish that is baby safe? I want to make a
> toy for my grand daughter and want to make it paint/finish safe.
> Iain Griffen
> Get everything you need to hook up your own wireless network by