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Food-Safe Plastic Table Covers


Jim D.
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I make chocolates at home, mostly on a large granite countertop.  To make cleanup easier (the process leaves tiny shards of chocolate everywhere), I am looking for a large (minimum 6 feet x 4 feet) food-safe plastic sheet to cover the work area.  The perfect texture would be that of oilcloth or a tarp.  I bought a polyester tablecloth to try, but the fabric was so much like cloth that scraping off the tiny bits of chocolate during the process was practically impossible.  I have looked online with no success.  Any ideas would be much appreciated.

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I can't help you with the perfect product most likely but I have a question - are you trying to save the tiny bits of chocolate for re-use? If not, why not just use a hot wet cloth to clean off the granite once you are done for the day?

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No, I am not trying to save the little chocolate bits (what I plan to save goes on parchment sheets).  I could just make the chocolates on the granite, but cleaning it is a pain (for one thing, it's dark granite and seeing all the chocolate is quite difficult).  An inexpensive sheet of plastic that could be thrown away at the end of a whole batch (not every day) would make cleanup much easier.

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Thanks for the ideas so far.  I can buy a small roll of freezer paper and see if that works.  As for the cling wrap, if it is as difficult to work with as the stuff bought in a grocery store, I would not have the patience to get a relatively smooth cover on the counter.  Maybe if there were something like it but without the cling quality, that would work.  I'll look some more on webstaurant.com.

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What about just laying down plastic wrap? You may have to tape down the edges, but it should semi- adhere to the counter easily and not slide around like some other option potentially could. This works best if you can get your hands on large, restaurant-size rolls of plastic wrap. 18" wide by 2000'.

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Would a large Silpat work for the purpose?  From what I've seen of chocolate work (with no personal experience) it looks to me like you need something stiff enough to lay lat on its own but smooth enough to be nonstick.  Failing that, what about just a plastic picnic table cloth of the kind heavy enough to stay in place on cheap restaurant tables, with the occasional sponging-off?  Are you worried that they might not be food-safe?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I like the plastic tablecloth idea.  I guess I assume that anything labeled "tablecloth" would be (should be) food-safe, but perhaps I am too ready to make that assumption.  The problem is that it is difficult to judge from web descriptions or even from seeing the item in person what it is going to feel like and how substantial it is.  Oilcloth would be perfect, but I have read in several places that it is not considered food-safe.  I wonder what outdoor lobster shacks use.

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What about something like this vinyl flannel-backed indoor/outdoor tablecloth?  The color or size may not be what you're after, but the buzzphrases I think you need (again, I am no chocolatier) are 'just wipe it off' and 'heavy'.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I've used a couple of things in the past that I'm happy with - the first was a huge silicone sheet that covered one of my big stainless tables and the other is silicone matting from Ikea that does the same. The Ikea mats have patterns on them cause I think they were for kids - but it didn't seem to hurt their function.

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