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Pottery Cookware – Buying With Unintended Consequences ?

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Cookware Advice

Food safety considerations should be top of your mind  when evaluating pottery cookware. Bought them from a vendor or supplier outside the USA?

What are the things you should keep in mind to get the best results from this cookware?


pottery for cooking
leached lead in pottery cookware
  • Pottery is one of the oldest cooking vessels that humans have used but not all pottery is necessarily safe.
  • Additionally, it is associated with lead contamination and that can be risky when cooking, serving or storing of food products.
  • This is because lead tends to be a common factor in pottery glazes and decorations and when untreated lead could leach in to the food during cooking, serving or storing.
  • Leached lead does not alter the food taste or looks but it can cause lead poisoning.
  • Lead poisoning can be dangerous for children and pregnant women as it causes learning issues, behavior problems and illnesses.​


  1. When choosing pottery look for safety labels that clearly state "Safe For Food Use". Pottery made in the United States have to meet lead safety guidelines.
  2. Buying pottery from Mexico or Latin America can be risky due to higher lead levels. Some foreign manufacturers tend to label their pottery as "lead-free" but the FDA recommends avoiding them for food contact.
  3. Specific care should be taken with regards to imported pottery pitchers and mugs due to higher lead amounts.
  4. If you see a gray powder appearing on the glaze once the pottery has been washed then avoid using it.

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