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Likely non food safe fruit bowl, will it be ok to store whole oranges?


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Hi, I love pottery but as yet haven't had time to pursue it further than 1 term of a pottery class. But I do remember my teacher talking about lead and food safe glazes. Anyway, my husband and I bought some beautiful plates and bowls from Turkey about 10 years ago on our honeymoon. I know it is very likely that the glaze has lead in it because it's bright orange with raised coloured bits all over it. We have only used them for display, but I would love to use the big bowl as a fruit bowl - just strictly for whole oranges. I have searched and searched and searched the internet and your forum to try and figure out if by any chance lead or cadmium might somehow get absorbed through orange peel into the pulp inside. I am presuming it doesn't, but thought I should try and double check. We would definitely be washing the oranges just before we peel and eat them, so that factor can be taken out. If anyone can point me in the direction of some (preferably scientific) evidence that would be very much appreciated. Thank-you

Fruit bowl from Turkey.JPG

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27 minutes ago, Sher-lene said:

Hi, I love pottery but as yet haven't had time to pursue it further than 1 term of a pottery class. But I do remember my teacher talking about lead and food safe glazes. Anyway, my husband and I bought some beautiful plates and bowls from Turkey about 10 years ago on our honeymoon. I know it is very likely that the glaze has lead in it because it's bright orange with raised coloured bits all over it. We have only used them for display, but I would love to use the big bowl as a fruit bowl - just strictly for whole oranges. I have searched and searched and searched the internet and your forum to try and figure out if by any chance lead or cadmium might somehow get absorbed through orange peel into the pulp inside. I am presuming it doesn't, but thought I should try and double check. We would definitely be washing the oranges just before we peel and eat them, so that factor can be taken out. If anyone can point me in the direction of some (preferably scientific) evidence that would be very much appreciated. Thank-you

Fruit bowl from Turkey.JPG

I guess I would just not take the risk actually so off to a lab it probably should go. Have it tested for lead ( they might be able to use xref, doubt it though) and cadmium ..... and maybe Barium ...... and maybe lithium and maybe vanadium pentoxide and ......... seems like lots of tests. Not sure I can think of all them. Maybe buy a nice looking plastic liner to complement it instead. Just my thought.

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@Sher-lene I moved your post to the appropriate section of the forum.

If you know it's not food safe, then don't use it for fruit. The peel of an orange probably has some of the same acidity as the fruit itself, and that's what causes the glaze to leach. It's probably a small risk, but why take any risk when there are plenty of other options in the world?

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Coating it with a clear epoxy *might* make it safer - but only if it's a food-safe epoxy.

If you really want to put fruit in it, and don't want to (or don't have the means to) have it tested, I would suggest finding a clear glass or plastic bowl that fits in it as a liner.  That will keep the oranges from touching the glaze...  and it will protect the bowl from any acids that might seep out of the oranges. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi, thank-you for all your replies! It's good to have opinions from people in the industry. If it wasn't such a special bowl I would have given it to the op shop ages ago because it's quite large and taking up too much room, so that's why I've recently been thinking about using it as a fruit bowl (also, I am a bit reluctant passing on a bowl to an op shop which is likely to be a health risk to someone out there who uses it the wrong way). I don't really want to go to the hassle of having it tested, so I think the suggestion of using a food safe plastic liner is the best, easiest and safest option in this case. Many thanks!

Edited by Sher-lene
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