Is ceramic cookware safe? According to the United States Ceramic Foundation, “Ceramic materials contain a number of potentially hazardous substances when in contact with food. In general, however, studies indicate that ceramic materials are not hazardous.”
Types of cookware currently made from ceramics include baking dishes and pans, shallow soup bowls and plates for appetizers, mugs and teacups, as well as other tableware.
As a result of concerns raised by some toxicologists about the possibility that ceramic dishes might leach lead into food during cooking, testing was performed to determine whether or not ceramics pose a health hazard to those using them for cooking purposes
1. What are the benefits of ceramic cookware?
Ceramic cookware can be used in the microwave and is also free of PTFE, otherwise known as Teflon. Ceramics are non-reactive to food, do not alter the taste or color of food during cooking and since they don’t corrode their surface doesn’t need seasoning like that of cast iron pots and pans.
Also, ceramics won’t rust so there’s no need for soap when cleaning them up. They’re lightweight and almost unbreakable making them ideal for camping trips and hiking adventures. Plus, if you drop one it will survive a fall better than most glass or metal pot would. And yes – they’re pretty!
2. What are the risks associated with using ceramic cookware for cooking?
Although the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no hard evidence to show that using ceramic cookware can cause health problems, they do acknowledge some real concerns.
Toxicologists have expressed concern about leaching of lead or other chemicals into food from vessels made from materials that contain certain mineral impurities such as barium, antimony and lead.
These minerals can be absorbed by food during cooking in amounts large enough to present a health risk to vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women.
There is also concern about potential hazards due to fracturing of these types of ceramic glazes during use resulting in dust particles containing any one or more of these potentially toxic minerals being released into the air and coming in contact with food and drink.
3. How to use ceramic cookware safely ?
– Do not use ceramic dishes in the microwave unless they are specifically marked as safe for that purpose.
– If it is possible, heat food in another type of cookware before you transfer it to a serving dish made from ceramic.
– Allow hot cooked food to cool down for several minutes before you serve it.
– Wash your hands after handling unglazed ceramics which may contain toxic minerals and other chemicals.
– Wash all ceramics thoroughly with hot soapy water after every use. Check the manufacturer’s literature for care instructions specific to each product. The cleaner your cookware, the less likely hazardous elements will be absorbed into food or released into the when cooking or cleaning up afterwards.
– If your ceramic cookware is chipped or cracked, discard it.
– Find out if your local waste facilities will recycle ceramic dishes and other tableware instead of throwing them in the trash.
– Store ceramics indoors where they are not exposed to extreme heat or moisture. Excessive heat can cause thermal shock, a condition that results when a hot dish is placed into cold water or vice versa. When this occurs, the vessel can fracture or explode which may result in injury to yourself as well as damage to surrounding property.
4. Where to buy safe ceramics ?
Buy ceramic cookware and dishes from well-known manufacturers. If you’re shopping for used items, check out second hand stores or visit garage sales.
Just make sure that the items you purchase are free of chips and cracks. Don’t forget to ask questions either since any supplier will tell you exactly what materials were used in making their products as well as whether they contain any hazardous elements such as lead or cadmium which can pose serious health risks when ingested.
Another thing: always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how best to take care of your ceramic cookware and tableware to ensure a long life and safe usage, especially if it contains glazed decoration anywhere on its surface which is made using non-food grade paints that may be toxic when used for cooking purposes.
5. Common misconceptions about using ceramics in cooking.
Many people mistakenly believe that all ceramics are safe for cooking purposes. Not true! Some ceramic cookware contain clay mixed with a variety of materials such as manganese, magnesium, zinc and antimony which can leach into food when heated during cooking or later when served piping hot from the oven.
So even though it looks like porcelain, this type of vessel can be dangerous to use – especially if you’re planning on serving food directly from its surface using only your bare hands.
Other types of ceramics used in cookware may also contain lead or cadmium which pose their own set of health issues – including cancer – making them way too risky to consider otherwise.
6. Who should not use this type of cookware ?
– Pregnant women or anyone planning to have a baby
– Elderly people who are more susceptible to diseases
– People with compromised immune systems
7. Conclusions and tips on how to avoid risk when using this material as a cooking surface.
– Use only high quality cookware, especially those with a smooth and non-porous surface – free of cracks or chips – which is lead and cadmium safe
– Avoid reusing chipped ceramics because they can be hazardous to your health.
– Make sure that the piece you’re going to buy is specifically labelled as food grade, especially if it contains glazed decoration made from non-food paints which may contain toxic materials. Look for a stamp of approval from FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as this usually guarantees a product’s safety when used for cooking purposes.
-Find out if ceramic tableware includes recycled material including all types of greenware, hard, glass or metallic components which can pose a risk when used.
– Avoid using ceramic vessels as serving dishes if you won’t be eating the food right away since there’s a greater chance that it will leach into food especially when still hot from the oven. Make sure to always transfer your serveware to another dish before bringing it from kitchen to table so as not to contaminate any surface with toxic chemicals.