Baltic Birch Ply - Food safe?


Hello,
At a recent crafts fair I saw a couple of people making kitchen cutting boards using Baltic birch plywood. They glued up the boards so that the laminated edges of the ply were facing up and making very interesting patterns.
Has anyone tried this? Is the adhesive that bonds the laminates food safe? Any info will be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance, Roy Fek
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Roy Fek wrote:

Yes...they're heat-cured adhesives that are quite stable once cured. I would assume there's a finish over them, anyway so the finish would be the material in contact w/ the food.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

One assumes the act of cutting woudl cut through the finish, if any on a cutting board. At least one person posting here related how he finished his cutting boards with shellac and refinished them frequently. I still think the food was frequently exposed to the wood.
--

FF


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Well the food is safe from the plywood, but I can't imagine it is the other way around.
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Well... interesting question. What kind of controls are there in the manufacturing of Baltic Birch? Which Eastern European chemical plant produces the adhesives? I'd want to know what is in the glue before I put any of it in my mouth.
.............call me cynical.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Hi Duane, Cutting boards are typically finished with a food safe oil, such as mineral oil, walnut oil, ect. or maybe even bee's wax. I can't see using a film building finish, like a poly or epoxy, because after a few uses you would cut through the finish. This could trap moisture and bacteria under the finish and lead to wood rot or chips of the hardened finish will start flaking off and could end up in your food.
Robatoy wrote:

Good point Robatoy!!!
Roy Fek
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Moisture and bacteria are easily trapped within and beneath oil finishes _of any sort_ at all. The indigestible plastic chips you mention pose much less of a danger than those bacteria.
Surface of a chipped-up board would look like crap, but any dirty board could give you the craps.
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    Greetings and Salutations...

    I would agree about the finish. For that matter, I would not recommend using anything but Mineral Oil on it.     As for the bacteria...The fact of the matter is that following the basic rules of sanitition and cleaning the board with a bleach solution quickly after use will eliminate the dangers of any critters growing that would make your next meal a memorable event. Actually, got to remember that bacteria are "vewy, vewy small" and so would LOVE to have a film finish to run under and hide from the cleaning supplies...yet another reason for an oil-based, penetrating finish.     The good news is that wood is hard on bacteria, so the ones that manage to avoid the cleaning supplies are likely to die off fairly quickly.     Wood is good.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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wrote:

Also want to remember that mineral oil never dries, and so, until there is sufficient surfactant to emulsify and wash it away, will become a water-safe haven for bacteria. The lipid bilayer is oriented with the water-hating/oil-loving side out.
Go bare. Also go separate easily distinguishable boards for things to be cooked and things which will not be.
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I don't know about food safe, but in at least some of the BB ply that I've used, the adhesive was not waterproof.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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