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.
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.