Decorating a cake with glitter? Check that it’s edible

NEW YORK , They sparkle and shine and make cupcakes and cakes look great. However, decorative glitters are often toxic and not safe to eat.

Decorating a cake with glitter? Check that it’s edible

NEW YORK , They sparkle and shine and make cupcakes and cakes look great. However, decorative glitters are often toxic and not safe to eat.

In a Thursday report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that not all products called "luster dust" should be consumed.

This report refers to investigations made by two health officials in states where illnesses were traced back to baked goods that contained such dusts.

In 2018, Rhode Island health officials received a report about six children who became sick following a birthday party. The symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea consistent with heavy metal poisoning. The children ate a dense layer of frosting topped with "gold dust" and ate a cake from a bakery.

A leftover slice of the cake was tested for copper. The bakery also tested the dust. The report states that the dust was labeled as "nonedible," nontoxic, and "for decoration"

Officials from the state health department found that luster dust was used in other bakeries. Brendalee Viveiros is a food safety expert at Rhode Island's health department. She was also co-author of the CDC Report. The state issued guidance to businesses on how to use luster dust.

The report notes that in 2019, Missouri health officials discovered a "primrose petals dust" that was used to decorate cakes as a lead hazard. They were investigating elevated lead levels in a 1-year old child. The child had used a bright yellow jar to decorate the cake with flowers. The dust was found to be 25% lead according to lab tests.

The Food and Drug Administration has also issued a public advisory warning about the dangers of eating decorative glitters. The FDA advises bakers to check the ingredients lists of decorative products that are used on food. The agency stated that if the label says only that the product is safe for decorative purposes and does not contain an ingredient list, it should be avoided.

According to the agency, glitters can be sold as twinkle dust or shimmer powder under different names, such as disco dust, twinkle dust and petal dust.

Updated Date: 29 October 2021, 07:11

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