This question was first asked of us back in 2017, and we answered this question for you all not long after. You can find our original response here. Since then, we have released a large number of new products as well as retired some products so we thought we would update you all on the answer to this question.
Firstly, no epoxy resin is going to be 100% ‘Food Safe’. There are a number of brands that say they are safe whilst referring to an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Compliance Code, however this is a general code that applies to all resin systems. This code is referring to the resin being unchanged from its natural cured state. Meaning that once you add colour pigments, additives or even heat you are changing the natural chemistry of the resin and this no longer complies with the FDA code.
Here at U RESIN, we do NOT class our epoxy resin products as “Non-Toxic” or “Food Safe” for full contact or as approved/certified by the FDA. However, our full range of epoxy resin systems can be used for decorative purposes, with ‘Incidental Food Contact’.
This means if you are running a small river channel in a board or decorating a small section or handle of a resin cheeseboard or resin serving board, our epoxy resin systems are perfectly safe to use.
What is most important, to be able to deem these items ‘safe’ for incidental contact, is that the resin must be cured and post cured before use (see our FAQ’s for Curing & Post Curing). Also, if there is unmixed/ uncured, or tacky/sticky resin spots in the piece, then they cannot be used as it will lead to leeching and long term affects.
If food touches uncured resin and is digested, then this can potentially lead to health issues, which is why it is important to ensure your resin is fully cured, correctly. At the same time, the resin should not be used directly as a cutting surface, put in a dishwasher or washed in boiling water, as over time this will cause the integrity of the resin to degrade, leading to scratches and wearing, the more it is used.
If you are selling boards, we would recommend providing your customers with some basic ‘Care Instructions’ with the board, to make them aware of the information above as well as how to re-wax a wooden board to protect it.
When talking about “Food Safe” for Incidental Food Contact, it is important to also remember that this information is based on the cured epoxy resin alone. This means, once you add colours, pigments, additives or otherwise, you are now changing the natural chemistry of the resin. It is important to also be aware of the ingredients used within the pigments, not just the resin as some will contain solvents or other toxic ingredients which can be harmful.
This impacts the natural chemistry of the resin, no matter what epoxy resin brand you are using and will change whether a resin is ‘non-toxic’ or ‘food safe’ if the colours are not deemed safe. It is important to research your pigments and additives first, before use. (Please also follow the correct safety procedures provided with both pigments and resin)
As long as you are careful, and are aware of the limits of resin there should be no issues to use! Always remember Safety First! If you would like more information please contact us via our contact page.