Wooden cutting boards, especially those made of butcher block, are highly prized and a useful addition to any kitchen. Since the cutting board comes into contact with food, the glue used becomes especially important. Several manufacturers have developed wood glue, which is nontoxic and FDA approved.
The glue holds the pieces of the board together. This can be one or more flat planks of wood or many strips of butcher block. Many home woodworkers use wooden dowels along with glue to give the cutting board extra strength and durability.
The two main types of glue used in cutting boards are waterproof glues or marine epoxy. The key for the use of either is whether or not it had FDA approval for use in food-preparation surfaces. This information can be found in the manufacturers MSDS sheet for the product being considered. Decorative cutting boards may use water-resistant glue that may not be FDA approved for a food surface.
If the glue is not waterproof, the board could come apart over time or after repeated washings. The glue also seals the cracks between the wooden parts to keep food bacteria from growing in the crevices of the wood.
When looking for glue or epoxy for making a cutting board, the user should look for "FDA Approved for Food Use" or other similar language on the label. If purchasing a new cutting board, the consumer should look for similar wording on the package. Not all cutting boards are made for food use; some have decorative value only.
Some cutting boards are manufactured with water-resistant glue or regular wood glue, which may not hold together over time. Repeated washings or liquids on the board can cause the glue to break down and allow the board to come apart.
The choice of the right glue for a cutting board gives the board beauty and long life. Waterproof glues and epoxies can withstand multiple washings in hot water and the glue will remain intact and secure.
Care should be taken to wash and sanitize the board after use in order to prevent bacterial growth on the board. Boards that are not made with FDA-approved glues should not be used for food preparation as the toxins in the glue could leech into the food.
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