If our silver plated chafing dish has some copper showing ( the silver plate has worn off) is it safe to heat a cheese dip in and serve it from?

  • 1
    What's wrong with the copper? Many pots and bowls are made from copper.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 21:49
  • 5
    @Catija copper becomes toxic in relatively small amounts, and is a rather reactive metal which can build exotic compounds. Copper vessels meant for heating are tinned such that the food does not come in contact with the hot copper. More decorative items are left alone, and sometimes you will see cold preparation of certain foods in copper bowls (the infamous eggwhite whipping) but they are not suitable for everything, or for long storage. So, "when does eating from copper became dangerous" is a god question.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 22:06
  • You may have problems using copper in contact with food while cooking (heating). Copper is fairly safe otherwise.
    – roetnig
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 8:51
  • 3
    Vinegar+copper -> verdigris. Poison. The sulfate is an emetic. The oxide isn't exactly healthy either.... Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


If you are considering heating any food in it, I would say no.

Silver itself is not especially pleasant (wikipedia and a more detailed CDC study). So, if you have a dish that is losing its silver plating, it would be wise to be overly cautious than casual about using it for food again.

Is the base copper or brass? There is copper in brass anyway.

Copper has far worse toxicity potentially (wikipedia ) when exposed to acids. Cheese could contain some lactic acid though not in significant amounts.

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