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Ask the expert - november 2018

Is wood allowed in food service kitchens? 

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Ask the Expert: Mandy, is wood allowed in food service kitchens?

The short answer is: yes and no.

Per the 2017 food code, wood is allowed with limitation in food service. Hard maple and other hard, close-grained woods can be used for things like cutting boards and blocks, baker's tables, as well as utensils such as rolling pins, doughnut dowels, salad bowls and chopsticks. Wooden paddles can be used in confectionery operations under certain guidelines. Whole, uncut, raw fruits, vegetables and nuts (in their shells) may be kept in the wood shipping containers in which they were received.

What may NOT be used is wood wicker.

As always, ensure the approved wood is clean and in good repair before use.

Reference: FDA Food Code Reference 4-101.17 for wood. 
*Please check with your local jurisdiction's interpretation to verify wood usage regulation

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