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Recently I've asked in a couple of places about which oils should be used to finish cutting/butcher boards. Mineral oils were on the list as well as other types of products (tung oil, waxes, etc.). Another recommendation was "Hard Top Oil" by Borma Wachs (technical sheet). The abstract describes the product as:

[...] a mix of prestigious modified natural oils, [...]

Allows to obtain high transparency natural effect finishings on kitchen tops and furniture, even in case of direct contact with food

Complying to norm EN71-III – Safe for children’s toys (no release of potentially harmful hazardous substances)

My question is the following: Has anyone tried this product before (first time I hear about the company) ? Does the EN71-III standard guarantee safety when in direct contact with food ?

EN71 part 3 summary:

The EN 71 standard part 3 is focusing on studying the chemicals contained in the toy and the levels in which they are present. Since July 2013, the regulation has extended the metal restrictions and application scope to a wider range of toys. There are 19 metals restricted now. The limitation varies depending if it is:

  • Category I – in dry, brittle, powder-like or pliable toy material:

    Solid materials which may leave residues on the hands.
    
  • Category II – in liquid or sticky toy material:

    Fluid or viscous materials which can be ingested or have skin contact.
    
  • Category III – in scraped-off toy material:

    Solid materials which can be ingested by biting, tooth scraping, sucking or licking.
    
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    My Answer that follows should help, woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/6054/… but there is much more information on this available online and you should probably research it more thoroughly and draw your own conclusions. – Graphus Aug 15 '17 at 6:22
  • Not an answer as such, but "natural oils" does not guarantee "safe for contact with food". – Martin Bonner Aug 21 '17 at 14:43
  • I agree (the term natural is misleading most of the times), but the safety standard establishes some guidelines according to the scenario. – nathan Aug 21 '17 at 14:45
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I can't find a MSDS for Hard Top Oil, but I suspect it is probably safe. However not knowing exactly what is in it would make me very unlikely to use it for anything coming in to contact with food - "a mix of prestigious modified natural oils" is not very specific/reassuring.

My Go To for chopping boards and the like is simple food grade mineral oil.

Mineral oil is FDA approved not only for incidental food contact, but for direct human consumption

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=172.878

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=822fd02a-92b0-4010-8bfb-737dba331d54

You can use some vegetable oils, but there is a risk of these going rancid over time. There are also some (any sort of nut oil) that you should definitely avoid due the risk of adverse reaction if you or a guest has a nut allergy.

As another commenter mentioned, just because something is natural, it doesn't make it safe, and just because something is man-made, doesn't make it unhealthy. Having the FDA sign off on something is a reasonable indication of its safety, as does having doctors / pharmacists supply it for direct consumption.

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I'd look into what is used to finish wooden bowls too. Walnut oil is one I recall being the favorite of a bowl maker.

  • Please don't serve my sister anything prepared on such a chopping board. She is allergic to walnuts. As David Smylie said, nut oils would be a really bad choice here. – Martin Bonner Mar 19 '18 at 14:07
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I don't have a whole lot of experience with this type of thing, but I have heard a lot of people mention that oils really aren't the best type of finish for something that's going to endure a lot of wear, food,... etc, because oils seep into the wood and don't actually provide a lot of protection. I have noticed some people talking about stuff like lacquer, thats food-safe after it cures. This gives a nice protective top layer. Just my thoughts, probably not worth the keyboard they were typed on, but nevertheless coming from a sincere place. Hope this helps.

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    You should never use a film finish on a chopping board for obvious reasons - food safe or not. Oil is recommended as a finish for precisely this reason. – Dave Smylie Jan 22 '18 at 22:24
  • You say "This gives a nice protective top layer.", but missed out "... right up until you chop something for the first time, and cut through the top layer". This is a really bad answer. – Martin Bonner Mar 19 '18 at 14:05

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