Are Ceramic Bowls Food Safe?

Ceramic bowls are a popular choice for home cooks because they’re easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and come in various shapes and sizes. However, some people are concerned that ceramic bowls may not be safe for food storage. After all, ceramic is a porous material, and food items stored in ceramic bowls can absorb harmful bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Are ceramic bowls food safe?

Yes, ceramic bowls are food safe because they do not contain any lead or harmful chemicals.  However, since these bowls are porous, they should be thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water or dish soap. Some people may still avoid ceramic bowls due to the potential risk of chipping.

While ceramic bowls are sturdy, their heat retention can cause your food to lose moisture. If you plan to cook food in your ceramic bowl, make sure to clean the bowl immediately after cooking to avoid food splatters.

In this guide, we’ll discuss whether ceramic bowls are safe for food and whether they can be used for storing or serving food, so keep reading.

Are Ceramic Bowls Food Safe

How Do You Know If Ceramics Are Food Safe?

The best way to know if ceramics are food safe is to check the food safety certifications. You can find these on the package itself. If there is no certification, the item is not considered food safe and should be treated like any other dishware.

In general, ceramics are safe to use as food contact surfaces. They are typically made of materials that are resistant to chemicals and heat.

When a company uses FDA-compliant methods and supplies, ceramic items are typically safe to consume. This is because ceramic and porcelain are part of the same minerals, including limestone, quartz, and feldspar. Ceramic is also non-toxic and is known to be safe in the environment.

Moreover, you can test your ceramics for chemical residue before use. If you plan on washing or baking your ceramics, you should wash them with a soft sponge and water.

If you want to add food coloring, put some powder onto a plate and mix it with water until it’s a paste. Then dip a brush into the mixture and paint onto your ceramics. You can use various colors, including yellow, orange, purple, green, and red.

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Do Ceramic Bowls Hold Bacteria?

Yes, it is very possible for bacteria to collect inside a bowl because of the surface area of the bowl. A ceramic bowl, or any other type of container, cannot be guaranteed to keep your food sanitary.

However, you can avoid cross-contamination by always using a clean, dry spoon and not touching your mouth with your fingers. Ceramic bowls are made from a porous substance called clay. 

When using a ceramic bowl, rinse the bowl well with soap and water before use. It should not be used if the bowl has moldy residue on the bottom or cracks on the outside.

Is Unglazed Pottery Food Safe?

Although unglazed pottery is food safe, it may not be very attractive. Unglazed ceramic surfaces are heat-resistant and scratch resistant but are porous. Therefore, they are not a good choice for cooking, baking, and food preparation.

They are also not safe for drinking water. If you are cooking with unglazed pottery, be sure to first check the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and care.

Unglazed pottery is considered safe to eat, but it should not be used in an oven or microwave. It can be used to cook in an outdoor grill or grill pan. You would only need to worry about this type of ceramic ware if it was made from a substance containing lead, like white earthenware.

Does Pottery Have to Be Glazed to Be Food Safe?

To be considered food safe, pottery does not need to be glazed. As long as the pottery is food safe, it will not affect the taste or healthiness of the food prepared.

If pottery is glazed, it is considered to be safe for food use. Ceramics are made from clay, and most have an inert mineral coating called glaze applied to give the pottery its final finish.

The glaze provides color and a hard, smooth surface to protect the pottery from scratches. Glazes contain lead or arsenic, a naturally occurring element in ceramics.

Do Ceramic Bowls Contain Lead?

Ceramic bowls can contain lead if the glaze used to finish the bowl contains lead. Lead can leach out of the bowl and into food, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities.

It is essential to know that lead can leach out of ceramic bowls if left outside in direct sunlight. When exposed to sunlight, lead from ceramics can reach out and get into the water that we drink. In most cases, this is harmless. However, lead can harm the human body if the lead levels are high enough.

According to the research done at “The University of Waikato” in 2013 (check the entire research paper here), it has been found that modern ceramic wares leach deficient levels of lead, barium, cadmium, cobalt, and chromium.

The pH plays an essential role in leaching, with more lead leached from lemon tea than from hot water. The cold water did not release significant metals. The longer the ceramic wares were exposed to the low pH leaching solution, the more lead was released.

Care Tips When Using Ceramic Bowl for Food

Always be aware of where food is placed when using ceramic bowls for food. A ceramic bowl is heat resistant but may crack and break if the food is dropped and falls on the bottom of the bowl.

To avoid this, place food on top of a thin piece of foil and wrap the foil around the bowl to protect the bowl from cracking and breaking. Also, make sure to wash the bowl thoroughly after each use.

Never leave a ceramic bowl unattended when holding food, and use extreme caution when cleaning a ceramic bowl. Do not allow children to put hot food or liquids into a ceramic bowl.

Ceramic bowls are very durable and heat resistant. The most important thing to remember when using a ceramic bowl for cooking is to be careful with hot liquids. It is crucial never to leave a heated ceramic bowl unattended.

Always keep a lid on your ceramic bowl to protect your pottery from spills. Never use your ceramic bowl as a baking dish or oven.


A ceramic bowl is food safe if it is made from a material that is safe for consumption. It is also safe if it is free of lead or chemicals. Food-grade ceramic products are made from a mixture of clay and quartz. Because of the many minerals and nutrients in clay, food-grade ceramics are considered safe for cooking, storing, and serving food.

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