There’s an expression that you frequently find on certain products that are in the kitchen or in the house hold, FDA approved for indirect food contact. Well for us, in the cabinet industry, it comes up with glues, are the adhesives that we use approved for indirect food contact? What happens on a cutting board when you decide to cut up some vegetables or some meat, when there is a hairline where it will come in contact with the glue for a short time? To me that’s direct food contact, so is it approved for direct food contact? What we really want to know is what does the Food and Drug Administration mean when they say it’s approved for indirect food contact. What the FDA really is talking about when they say something is approved for indirect food contact is, approved for indirect food additive, or that it gets into food by accident. When they talk about direct food contact, that means the manufacturer is putting this in your food, like food coloring.

If you are going to be making something that with be coming into contact with food, like a cutting board, what glue should you use to make it? To start with, let’s take Titebond Original (F506) wood glue out of the picture. There are two reason for this, the first is that something like a cutting board will be exposed to moisture and the second is the contact with food, neither of which Titebond Original is specifically approved for. Taking the original out of the picture, we can go directly to Titebond II (F500) or Titebond III (F141). Based off of the current science available today, which is always changing and evolving, both of these glues are FDA approved for indirect food contact, they are not going to be harmful to you when used on your cutting board. In addition to being FDA approved, Titebond II is rated water-resistant, and Titebond III as water-proof, eliminating the need to worry about moisture. Hopefully this throw a little light on what it means to be FDA approved for indirect food contact.

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