A friend of mine makes ceramic dinnerware and she always gives it to me as a gift. I almost have a full set and it is beautiful, but I am wondering if it is safe to eat off of.
Thank you so such for asking for dinnerware tips that matter!
There are many dinnerware manufacturers that make ceramic dishes. For instance, Fiesta Dinnerware is ceramic with a colored glaze. Most times, manufacturers make sure that the dinnerware is safe to eat off of, but with home-made, I understand you questioning.
Most people who do ceramics or make pottery dinnerware do know that in order for a piece to be food-safe only certain paints and glazes can be used. The piece has to be fired in a kiln to set the glaze and to keep the clay and paint containing lead from being exposed to food or drink.
The US standards set forth by the Food and Drug Administration relating to food safety of ceramic dishes refers to levels of lead and cadmium. If your friend used paint and glaze that was lead-free and marked food-safe and the parts that come in contact with the food are completely glazed, and it was fired properly, your dinnerware is probably safe to eat off of.
Some ceramics are marked that they are only for decoration. You should not eat or drink from those.
The best way to find out if your ceramic dinnerware is safe is to test it. There are lead testing kits available online or at hardware stores.
If you find out that your dinnerware set is not food-safe, it is not a total waste. You can always use it to decorate.
To learn more about FDA warnings related to lead-content in dinnerware read this article .