Recently I decided that I would make some reusable snack bags and produce bags for friends and family. I thought how hard can it be right? Well, with a fanatical, borderline crazy mind like mine (some may argue about the borderline part) let me tell you it can get pretty darn complicated.
So it was 5:00 am when I was thinking, (because that's when I do my best thinking --borderline crazy! yes?) food is going to touch the inside of these bags. It would be a good idea to use a fabric that can easily be wiped clean at least on the inside (because I hate doing laundry and I assume everyone else in the world does too). I was thinking of perhaps using a vinyl protective coating. Sounds reasonable right? But is it safe? That was the question that made me spring out of bed at 5:15 in the morning to start my research.
So as it turns out there are plenty of waterproofing products out there but through my research, the only product that I could find that was actually declared food-safe is Polyurethane laminate or PUL. PUL is a soft and breathable fabric that is also waterproof and food safe. It is CPSIA certified, meeting stringent standards by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission on lead and phthalates and flammability. It is also certified for repeated-use food storage (yes even in the state of California). This product is eco-friendly and manufactured in the U.S.A without harmful chemicals or finishes and is safe to use for children's clothing because it is not flammable.
So there you have it. If you are planning to sew re-useable bags that will be used for food storage please take the time to plan ahead and use food-safe products. Pay close attention to iron-on vinyl products and ask yourself what is the product made from. I had to actually reach out to some companies to ask if their product was food safe. The label fell just short of stating that is was food safe. Remember there are typically no warnings on products that are not food safe so I recommend that you do your research ahead of time when you are planning your project.