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Use of Safe Cookware

Introduction

Containers and utensils are cookwares designed for use in cooking food.

Examples of cookwares :

  1. woks, pots and pans

  2. bakewares

  3. microwave safe containers

  4. steamers

  5. ladles, spoons.

Ideally, cookwares should be made of an inert substance that DOES NOT ;

  • peel,

  • chip,

  • crack,

  • craze,

  • vaporise,

  • dissolve, OR

  • harbour bacteria.

In addition, it should be a good conductor of heat in order to cook food evenly, and it should be easy to clean.

Utensils such as ladle and spoon on the other hand should not be heat reactive so that it can be utilised during cooking.

Benefits and Potential Risks of Cookware

There are potential risks in some cookware materials since the molecules of the substances can leach from the cookware materials into the food that is being cooked.

Most of the time, it is harmless. However, measures should be taken with some cookware materials.

Common materials used in  cookware are :

  • aluminium

  • copper

  • iron

  • ceramic

  • glass

  • stainless steel

  • Teflon TM (polytetrafluoroethylene).

Table below summarises the benefits and risks of various types of cookware as well as recommendations on handling :

Benefits, Risks and Recommendations On Handling of Various Types of Cookware

Types of Cookware Example
Made of aluminium
Made of copper
Cast iron
Made of ceramic, glass, crock pot, terra cotta

Stainless steel pots and pans
Teflon TM (Polytetrafluoroethylene) coated
Plastic coated wares
Silicone baking wares
Bamboo steamers

Legislation On Cookware In Malaysia

Ministry of Health regulates food contact materials under Part IV : Packages for Food of  Food Regulations 1985.  The regulation entails the general prohibition on the use of harmful packages and  standards for ceramic ware and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packages.

 

References

  1. Aluminium Utensils and Disease – The Dangers Inherent in the Widespread Use of the Metal, H.Tomlinson, M.B, Ch.B, M.R.C.S, L.R.C.P
  2. Natural Life Magazine – How to Choose Safe and Healthy Cooking Pots, Wendy Priesnitz
  3. How Safe is Your Cookware?, Issac Eliaz, MD, MS, Lac
  4. Microwave Cooking and Food Safety, Risk assessment studies Report No.19, Food and Environment Hygiene Department, the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  5. Nutrition Action Healthletter – Microwave Myths Facts vs. Fiction, David Schardt
  6. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
  7. http://www.thekitchen.com
  8. http://www.answers.com/topic/cooking-utensils
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kitchen_utensils
  10. http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/safecookware.htm

Last reviewed : 29 November 2013
Writer : Mdm. Shariza binti Zainol Rashid

 

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