Is It Safe to Use Scratched Stainless Steel Cookware?

Stainless steel cookware is considered a good choice of kitchenware. It is the most popular kitchen utensil in North America. It is resistant, durable, corrosion resistant and easy to maintain. However, it does scratch if it is not used and is properly cared for, which makes us wonder if it is safe to use scratched stainless steel cookware.

Stainless steel cookware is made of iron, chrome and nickel. When abrasive materials are used in a stainless steel pot or pan, the pot or pan may eventually scratch. When cooking with a scratched stainless pot or pan, a small amount of iron, chromium and nickel will be released into the food. The consumption of a large amount of iron can cause excessive levels of iron in the blood, which can be dangerous and risky. The dietary reference intake lists the tolerable level of iron for adults, which is 45 mg per day. The tolerable iron level for children under the age of fourteen is 40 mg per day. The daily intake of chromium in the United States is 35 mg for the adult man and 25 mg for the adult woman. Cooking with nickel that contains stainless steel cookware will not add a significant amount of nickel to your daily meal. However, sensitive people may show an allergic reaction to nickel.

Studies have shown that the use of light scratched steel cookware presents no significant risk to health problems. It is said that the amount of iron, chromium and nickel released when cooking with the pot or skillet is less than the percentage of the total daily intake. However, if the pot or stainless pan is severely damaged with deep scratches or shows signs of corrosion, it is recommended to discard the pot or pan. Severely damaged with deep scratches, pots and pans should not be used, since it is not known with certainty the amount of iron, chromium and nickel that is released when cooking and, therefore, can cause important health problems. It is also recommended that people who have allergic reactions to nickel avoid using nickel that contains stainless steel cookware.

Best of all, it is a good practice to use only a soft cloth when cleaning to avoid damaging the stainless kitchen utensil. To minimize the cause of the damage, it is suggested that the abrasive cleaners are not used for washing, and avoid the use of sharp and pointed utensils when cooking. Although stainless steel cookware is sturdy, without proper care, it can be damaged. When the stainless kitchen utensil is damaged, it will not have the best performance. For example, a stainless steel pot or pan with a copper-coated bottom may lose its good heat conduction when the copper layer is scratched. As a result, the damage also decreases the value and appearance of the pot's or pan's lifespan.

In summary, light scratched stainless steel cookware poses no risk to health problems. The use of a light scratched stainless steel pot or pan is harmless since only a small amount of iron, chromium and nickel is released when cooking. The consumption of a small percentage of iron, chromium and nickel, which is lower than the percentage of daily intake, does not increase health problems. However, if the pot or pan is deeply scratched, it is recommended not to use the pot or pan since the amount of iron, chromium and nickel released when cooking can be poisonous. It is important to use and properly care for stainless steel cookware. To maintain the best performance of stainless steel cookware, avoid the use of abrasive materials when cooking or cleaning stainless steel pots or pans. By doing so, you will undoubtedly avoid causing damage to the pot or pan and therefore, improve its durability and duration.

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