Is it Safe to eat with Sterling silver flatware?

Illustration of a confused man asking Is it Safe to eat with Sterling silver flatware?

We’ve all heard of the sterling silver flatware that graces our dinner tables for its beautiful and timeless beauty, but have you ever wondered if it’s actually safe to use for eating? In reality, a lot of us have been using sterling silver utensils for years without ever giving their safety a second thought. However, it’s worthwhile delving deeper into this subject given the rise in environmental consciousness and growing knowledge of the potential health risks of some metals.

So, let’s dive in and get to the bottom of this question, shall we? Join us as we separate fact from fiction, and clear up any misconceptions surrounding the safety of eating with sterling silver flatware.

Is it safe to eat with sterling silver flatware?

We’ve all witnessed the gleaming elegance of sterling silver flatware on a beautifully decorated table, but is it actually safe to dine with it?

The truth is, the answer is not as straightforward as one may think.

Firstly, let’s understand how sterling silver is made.

Also known as 925 silver, it is an alloy with a composition of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. This composition is the reason for it’s durability, and its resistance to corrosion, tarnish, and wear.

But some of the metals that go into making sterling silver might be dangerous if consumed in large amounts.

For instance, copper, while essential for human health, can be hazardous if taken in large quantities.

On the other hand, silver is regarded as safe for human ingestion, even in little amounts, but if consumed in high amounts over an extended period of time, it can lead to a condition called as argyria.

So, what does this mean for those who love to eat with sterling silver flatware?

In general, since the amount of metal that could leach your food during a meal would be small and insignificant (if at all, any), using sterling silver flatware every day is generally considered safe for most people.

But is this case for silver plaited flatwares? You can read our article about that.

However, it may be best to speak with a doctor or dietician before using sterling silver flatware frequently if you have any concerns or special health considerations.

Lastly, it’s important to consider that the production and polishing of sterling silver flatware can affect its safety or users.

For instance, unclean and unpolished flatware might hold bacteria and other dangerous chemicals. Moreover, if the silverware is not stored properly, it may come into touch with things that tarnish or corrode it, releasing potentially dangerous metals into the food.

How to use sterling silver flatware safely

While it’s safe to eat with sterling silver flatware, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your flatware stays in good condition and doesn’t affect the taste or appearance of your food.

  1. Clean your flatware regularly: Your sterling silver can tarnish, particularly if it is not cleaned frequently. Use warm water and mild soap to always wash them. Remember, avoid using steel wool or aggressive cleaners since they can harm the silver..
  2. Dry your flatware thoroughly: Make sure to completely dry your flatware after cleaning it to avoid water stains. You can air-dry it or use a soft towel to do this.
  3. Store your flatware properly: Your flatware should be kept dry and away from humidity to prevent tarnishing. It’s also advisable to use specialized silver storage bags or tarnish-preventative cloths..
  4. Avoid using your flatware with acidic foods: While using sterling silver flatware while eating is safe, eating foods that are acidic might cause the silver to tarnish or discolor. Avoid using your flatware with acidic foods like lemons, tomatoes, and vinegar to prevent this..

Alternative to eating with sterling silver flatware

Even though using sterling silver flatware can lend a touch of elegance to any meal, it might not be the best option for everyone. Here are some alternatives to take into account:

  1. Stainless steel flatware: Stainless steel flatware is a popular alternative to sterling silver flatware. It’s more durable, resistant to tarnishing, and can be found at a lower cost than actual silver.
  2. Silver-plated flatware: Silver-plated flatware is made by covering a base metal (such as stainless steel) with a thin layer of silver. It has a similar appearance to sterling silver flatware, but is less expensive and more durable. However, since it contains Silver, there’s also a doubt on its safety. We have an article on that, though.
  3. Gold-plated flatware: Similar to silver-plated flatware, but with a layer of gold on top, a Gold-plated flatware could serve as a perfect alternative. But then, it’s more expensive.
  4. Wooden or bamboo flatware: For those looking for a more environmentally responsible solution, wooden or bamboo flatware works good. In addition to being environmentally beneficial, it gives the table setting a rustic and earthy feel.
  5. Ceramic or glass flatware: Looking for utensils that is non-reactive, non-toxic, and doesn’t contain any toxic metals, talk more about leaching into food? Ceramic and Glass Flatware are the perfect alternatives.


The topic of the safety of using sterling silver flatware when eating is a complex issue that depends on a number of factors, such as the silver’s composition, the production method, and personal health considerations. Although the majority of people can use sterling silver flatware without any problems on a daily basis, it’s always best to be cautious and take your own health into account.

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