How to Tell If Pottery Is Food Safe

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

Pottery is made of clay and other natural materials. The glaze on top of it has been made with various materials over the years. For many of those years, it was made with lead and cadmium paint and glaze. Today, pottery is regulated to make sure that this is not the case. It is important to make sure that your pottery is safe and does not contain these elements in them.

The Food and Drug Administration does regulate pottery for trace amounts of lead and cadmium. Manufacturers have to guarantee that their products do not contain these materials. However, it is necessary to make sure. There are two different components to consider when you want to know if pottery is food safe: the fired glaze finish and the heavy metals inside that can come out if the glaze breaks. Continue reading to learn how to tell if pottery is food safe.

Check the Labels

If the pottery is not certified as safe for food and drinks, the FDA requires that the manufacturer place a sticker in a noticeable spot on the piece. This will tell you that there could be dangerous or toxic materials in the glaze or the pottery itself, and you should never use it with your food or drinks.

These types of pottery pieces are ideal if you want a vase or want to have a decorative piece in your home. Just be sure to keep the label on the piece so that nobody makes the mistake of trying to eat or drink using this pottery.

How Old Is the Piece?

Another way to know if pottery is food safe is by knowing its age. If this is a piece that was made prior to the 1970s, it could very well have hazardous lead residue in it. You might find a unique piece in a flea market, or maybe you have something that has been in your family for a few generations.

In addition, in older pieces, bright colors such as red, yellow, and orange would have a higher content of lead because it was added to make the color brighter. If you find older pieces, you should be cautious about using them for food. They might make beautiful decorative pieces, but you should avoid using them unless you are certain that they don’t contain lead or some other toxic substance.

Have it Tested

The best way to find out if your pottery is food safe is to have it tested. The reality is that lead and cadmium are toxic substances that have been shown to be dangerous for human consumption. Before you put yourself or your family and friends in danger by potentially exposing them to these substances, you can conduct a test to make sure the pottery is safe.

You can buy a lead testing kit from a hardware store and use it on your favorite items to find out if the item is safe to use. When you get the test results back, you will know if the pottery contains dangerous or toxic substances.

When you have pottery, you will likely want to use it. You might want to pull it out if you have friends or family over for dinner. The important thing is to make sure that it is food and drink safe before you use it. If you have purchased a new set, it should have passed through the FDA controls, so you shouldn’t have a problem. However, if it is an older piece, you need to be sure.

You can look for certain signs, and when in doubt, don’t use it until it is tested. Once you test it, you will know whether it has toxic substances in it. Make sure that your pottery is safe so that you don’t suffer from lead poisoning.

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