FDA approved

Updated: July 11, 2024

Whether it's from a piece of macaroni art or a glue stick that is just within reach, more than one parent has had to tell their child not to eat glue. Many glues are not safe for consumption, but there are several applications where glues will come into some sort of contact with food and a food-safe glue is required

What Is A Food-Safe Adhesive? 

A food-safe adhesive is a type of adhesive that is approved for use in applications with indirect contact with food. These applications can include everything from food packaging to the manufacturing of food prep equipment.   

There are a number of country-specific legislating bodies for the use of adhesives in food packaging, but the most widely recognized is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA classifies food-safe adhesives as a food-contact substance (FCS), “a substance that comes into contact with food and is not intended to have a technical effect in such food.”1 Common types of food-grades glues include hot melts and cyanoacrylates 

FDA Regulations for Food-Grade Adhesives 

Many FDA regulations focus directly on the manufacturer’s responsibility to use the correct, approved adhesive for food packaging.  Adhesive manufacturers must follow the formulation rules as stipulated by FDA 175.105 as well as section 175.300 

Regulations concerning plastic material or chemicals that come into contact with food or the food process stipulate that the substances must pass stringent food safety requirements even if they are used in packaging or the factory production environment.  

FDA-compliant adhesives must also be manufactured from pre-approved raw materials. The adhesive formula manufacturer may use any substance listed under FDA’s Section 175.105. The regulation also places physical restraints on how the manufacturers can use adhesives in food articles and ensures the adhesives are separated from food by some form of practical barrier or layer. This includes the quantity of adhesive contacting aqueous and fatty foods not exceeding trace amounts at the edge of packaging laminates. 

The adhesive should also not exceed the limit of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).The most important GMP requirement for packaging materials is that they are suitably pure for their intended food type. This means they may not impart anything on the food that would make it harmful to someone’s health such as giving the food an odor or affecting the taste. 

All adhesives used in flexible food packaging must also be adequately cured. A full cure ensures all components — especially the adhesive’s starting materials — are not at levels higher than was found in the testing done to establish that the product wouldn’t migrate into the food. 

 food packing

Food-Safe Glue Applications 

Food-grade glues are required for a variety of different applications including for use with kitchen goods, food packaging, and food production line equipment. They are found on dry food packaging, paper wrapping that encases food, and labels for food products. They are also used to seal cartons containing food products.  

Along with packaging needs, food-safe adhesive glues that are FDA-approved are needed to bond mesh gauze on filters, sieves, and strainers. They bond handles onto kitchen knives as well as handles onto coffee pots. They are also used to seal parts on dispensing equipment like ice cream or beverage dispensers. For any number of applications related to food products, food-safe glues are typically required.  

Product Recommendations 

With so many different food-related products, there are a ton of food-safe adhesives to choose from. Each has its own strengths, and many are designed with specific applications in mind. Below are a few food-grade glues we recommend.  

Low Temperature  

ASURE CC0530 is a food-grade hot melt is great for packaging, case and carton sealing, and tray forming. A low temperature EVA, it is applied at 250°F for safer application and great thermal stability. It also has a fast set speed that makes it ideal for faster production lines. 

Clean Melting, Low Odor

Infinity Bond M2080 is an ideal food safe adhesive is a clean melting, low odor metallocene bulk hot melt by Infinity Bond. Unlike other bulk hot adhesives that have indirect food contact qualifications, all the components in this hot melt have been reviewed and are confirmed safe for direct food contact. 

It offers no odor due to the metallocene base and has high-quality pot stability that will make the adhesive last longer. This food-safe adhesives is also friendly on bulk equipment, eliminating a large amount of char in the nozzle and hose. 

Corrugated or Cardboard Stock 

InfinityPACK E2190 offers a strong and fast-setting bond that works best on corrugated or cardboard stock. There is very little odor and no stringing. It will also provide great pot stability. Its heat stability and low viscosity make it a perfect solution for many manual and automated packaging applications.  

Metallocene Based 

There is also the choice of a hot melt that is metallocene based like Infinity CleanPack metallocene packing hot melt. They are different from traditional EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) because they melt extremely cleanly and have almost no odor. This type of hot melt comes at a small premium, but it will be a solution for anyone having odor or bonding issues in their packaging application. This product offers a fast set time and works well with cardboard, coated stocks, or corrugated items. 

production line inside pasta factory

Find Your Product

Not sure which product will be best for you? We want to help. We have a wide selection of food-grade adhesives for various applications. Whether you are looking for freezer-grade glues or agricultural adhesives, we have the products for you. Let’s talk budget, applications, and production requirements. For more guidance, contact us today.



  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2023). Food Packaging & Other Substances that Come in Contact with Food - Information for Consumers 


Related Products

Ask a Question

Have questions? Our team of hot melt experts can help. Submit your questions and we'll get you answers right away. We're here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

While not every cyanoacrylate glue is safe for food, there are some products that are designed with these applications in mind. Always check the technical datasheet for the product to see the specific FDA compliance requirements. 

Some spray adhesives do pass FDA regulations and have designations as food-grade adhesives, but not all of them. Always check a product’s specific regulations before use on an application where food contact is possible.

There are some silicone adhesives that are food-safe, but you need to ensure that the product you choose has this designation if the application requires it.