Cutting board

My son made a cutting board for his mom in shop class. School has ended and he didn't get to quite finish it up. He has it complete except for some sort of sealant or seasoning I guess. I believe the wood is walnut but I not certain on that. For a cutting board, what kind of coating, if any, needs to go on it before it's put in use?
Thanks Wayne
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Mineral oil or walnut oil are traditional food safe finishes. Either one would need to be reapplied occasionally.
Frank
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Frank Ketchum wrote:

I suggest Extra Virgin Olive oil. Get the good Italian stuff. That costs more but is well worth it for salads. I have no idea what that oil looks like on walnut, but it is relatively inexpensive, is available in most grocery stores, and is certainly safe to eat.
Hoyt W.
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Uhhhhh, no. Extra virgin olive oil is 'the good stuff' because of the relative 'other stuff', which adds a fruity taste, but makes it go rancid more easily, if wiped on a wooden cutting board. If you want to use olive oil, (and I don't think I would), use 'light' or 'pure', which is of the later pressing, and has less of the 'fruity' stuff, (which has a technical name escaping me right now.)
Walnut oil, or one of the milder nut oils, might be OK, although the food allergy thing is always troubling.
Our cutting boards MIGHT get a coating of a light mineral oil once a year or so. They are scrubbed with hot water, a dab of dish soap, and a stiff vegetable scrubber after each use. The 3" maple block is beginning to show some signs of heavy use, but then it's only been 25 years. I'll get back to the group when it gets fully broken in...
Patriarch
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Hoyt
Since olive oil goes rancid over time, would suggest that it is NOT a good choice, at least not for the first coat(s)
Mineral Oil or commercial cutting board finish is probably a better choice
John
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Olive oil and other vegetable oils go rancid by partial oxygenation. If you store the board with the surfaces open to the air, no problem with rancidity. You still have the problem of a non-curing (as with mineral ) oil, which will make the surface a dirt and bacteria shelter unless you wash it with something that removes the oil.
Which leads to the question - why bother oiling with something which doesn't cure?

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The USDA recommends to use Shellac as a finish for cutting boards and let it cure for 7-10 days before using. Use no oils whatsoever. It only breeds ecoli. Always use Walnut, Cherry, or Maple.
George wrote:

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Speaking from experience - if it gets frequent, daily use, don't bother. I use my board every day, and after each use it gets a scrub with hot water and a small bit of soap, and rinse and pat dry. No oil, becuase the soap will wash it off anyway, and I'm not about to oil the board every time I use it. Wood tends to be naturally antibacterial anyway (there's been studies done) and none of us have gotten sick off it yet.
If, OTOH, you plan on putting it on display, mineral oil would be the best thing to use. I think that a cutting board has a finite lifesapn, so I'm not too worried about splitting, checking or drying out. Every five years, quick pass through the planer, all set. Or, make a new one and heat your house with the old one.
Jon E
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I made a cutting board in shop class also. But that was in 1969. My wife uses it daily and I nor she have put any thing on it except food. Id you son's cutting board dark wood? If so, it could be walnut. You really do not need to put anything on it unless you want it look nice and don't plan on using it.

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