I have some old pottery that I want to cook with, but I wonder about lead. Apparently there are testing kits I can use, but where to get them in Canada?
trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.
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Dawne is a Recipe Tester for Food52
Hi Trampledbygeese, (that must have hurt! Ouch!)
I've been doing pottery in Calgary and Toronto for some years now and I guess my questions would be, how old are the dishes exactly? What kind of wear and tear do they show? Are there hairline cracks in the glaze? What colour are they? If they are pretty old (20+ years), have cracks and are red, I'd be inclined maybe to just use them as decoration or for dry things like cookies and buns just to be safe. That being said, you can find a lead testing kit at Lowe's. There seems to be one at Home Depot but it looks like it's mostly for paint. The one at Lowe's specifically lists dishes. They could be ok so probably worth testing them.
I also found this interesting article that is definitely worth a read. https://nowtoronto.com/lifestyle/ecoholic/should-i-be-worried-about-lead-in-my-dishes/
And I once had an instructor tell me that they really didn't properly fix the lead issue in glazes until the 90's which totally surprised me.
Hope this helps. Let us know if you do test your dishes! We are curious what you will find.
The geese in question were delicious, but yeh, it hurt.
The main pots I'm worried about are over 100 years old, but light in colour - white, cream, speckled. One I use for a butter churn, the others for fermenting or storage. Now that I'm big into tagine cooking, I'm wondering about these pots imported from North Africa. Then there is the medieval cooking - I participate in a medieval educational display each year, and we cook a lot of things in clay pipkins and other clay pots. Some pots have tiny cracks (like my milk churn), most solid. Nothing chipped. So lots of pots to test.
Interesting article, thanks for the link.
We don't have a Lowe's here, but we do have Home Hardware and Home Depot. I'll visit them after the holiday season shopping calms down.