Food Safety Issues/wedding cake decorations

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Question
We are haveing a wedding, and have seen some very neat wedding dedorations made out of metal.  They are non tarnish enamel and aluminum wire.  It is just a simple design made out of the metal, however the stem that goes into the cupcake/frosting is of the same metal.  Is this going to be food safe, it is only about 1/8 inch metal stem that will be stuck in the cupcake for  a couple of hours.  There are many different styles that are all home made, but no one really comments weather it is food safe.  We definately don't want to give our guests something that could cause problems.  Again the decorations would only be in the cupcake/frosting for no more than a couple of hours.  Thanks for your answer.

Answer
Hi Julie,

As long as the metal is not galvanized or soldered (both of these contain lead which is not food safe) it should be safe to go in the cake.

FYI -- I have contacted a maker of metal cake decorations asking if they have any information on the food safety of the wires they use in their designs.  When I hear back from them I'll add to this post.

Best wishes for a wonderful wedding.

Carol


I heard back from the metal cake decorations maker and here is her very thorough reply:

Wires used in wire sculptures like mine are commonly used in cake decorating, but are not officially categorized as food-safe. The common practice among professional cake decorators who use artsy wire toppers are to insert a small plastic straw or coffee stirrer into the cake first, then place the cake topper into the straw or stirrer or to wrap the stakes in plastic wrap/cello etc (in the case of the toppers with stems).

For the freestanding toppers, a doily is placed on the cake first (or some use a fondant covered cakeboard) before placing the topper.

In cases where a larger floral arrangement or other such decoration is used, then it can be placed on it.

I heard again from the wire artist:

P.S If any other wire artist tells you their toppers are food safe just "because they're aluminum" or because the wire is classified as non toxic, that would be inaccurate. The assumption could be made but it is incorrect.

Just an FYI.

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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