Is it safe to cook in unlined copper pots? How about using copper cookie cutters for cookies?
Copper cookie cutters should be safe and not toxic, particularly if the dough is not too acidic (which is not common in cookie dough). In fact, recent research is looking at the antimicrobial properties of copper as a food contact surface: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002011002735.
However, cooking in unlined copper pots, particularly if the food is acidic, can cause copper toxicity. Unlined copper can be relatively easily dissolved by acidic foods, which may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea with sufficient quantities. Copper pots lined with tin or stainless steel are safe. More information is available: www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/food_safety/handling/hgic3864.html.
See our Food Safety feature articles for more information on food safety topics.
Answered by Dr. Londa Nwadike, Kansas State University/University of Missouri Extension Food Safety Specialist
Last update: Friday, November 22, 2013