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Are all metals food safe?





December 8, 2011

Q. I recently purchased a two tier polished metal dessert stand only to discover the sticker on the bottom that says, "NOT FOR FOOD USE FOR DECORATIVE PURPOSES ONLY MADE IN INDIA". What could possibly be unsafe about it since there is no finish on it?

Kay Josted
- Livonia, Michigan, USA



December 9, 2011

Hi, Kay.

First things first: I'd certainly immediately return it. The sticker will be gone shortly but the danger will not. So if this item conveys the impression that it is supposed to be used for food, someone almost certainly will use it for such, if not today then tomorrow, if not you then a son or daughter.

There is no guessing what it is made of or the dangers from it. It could be high in lead or cadmium -- both of which are cumulative biotoxins. It could be zinc or copper, which are not toxic in moderation, but are not to be used for food to avoid overdose.

I don't think your assumption that "there is no finish on it" is necessarily true. It could be electroplated, it could have a chromate-based anti-tarnish finish, etc.

Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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