Are Wood Bowls Safe to Use?
30 July 04


Creating bowls from wood is a lucrative hobby for some woodworkers. Wooden bowls may be used for food if they have been properly treated with food-safe finishes. Mineral oil treatment can help keep the bowls safe over time.


  • According to the Turned to Wood website, a food-safe finish must be applied to a wooden bowl before it can be marketed as food safe. Some recommended finishes include shellac sealer, salad bowl finish and poly gloss.


  • Woodworkers should apply several coats of a food-safe finishing product to properly seal a wooden bowl. Ed Keenan, of the Making Wooden Bowls website, uses at least four coats of poly gloss on all of his bowls.

Mineral Oil

  • Damage to wooden bowls, such as nicks from sharp utensils, may damage the food-safe finish. The Condells website recommends treating wooden kitchen items with mineral oil several times a year to keep them food safe.