SPOONS, spatulas and whisks are all items we use nearly every day in the kitchen – but it turns out they could actually be killing you.
Scientists have warned that these plastic utensils produce harmful toxins that can be poisonous and severely damage your liver and thyroid when they are used at high temperatures.
And experts are now urging people to avoid cooking hot food with plastic utensils – especially at temperatures above 70°C.
They say this is because every day kitchen items contain harmful substances named oligomers which seep their way onto our food at this high temperature.
If swallowed in high doses, these man-made chemicals may trigger liver and thyroid disease.
They have also been linked to infertility, cancer and high cholesterol.
The stark warning was issued in a new report from the food safety watchdog, the German Federal Institute For Risk Assessment (Bfr).
The BfR, an independent group that advises the government on food, chemical and product safety, studied oligomers from two different molecules which are mainly used to make kitchen utensils.
Taking information from a study conducted between 2016 and 2017, the scientists examined how oligomers from spoons and spatulas make their way onto our meals and what impact this has on health.
The study revealed that the amounts of oligomers moving from kitchen utensils into food was much higher than previously believed.
An adult is assumed to eat one kilo of food every day that has come into contact with food contact material, according to European Plastics Regulation.
Based on the available data, the amount of five micrograms per kilo of food was assessed as being toxicologically acceptable as group migration value for the compounds mentioned.
In their study, scientists found for 70 per cent of kitchen utensils the group migration of oligomers was less than 5mg per kilo of food.
But in 30 per cent of these items, the release exceeded 5mg per kilo of food.
They concluded that ingesting just tiny amounts – 90 micrograms – would be dangerous to the health of someone weighing 60kg.
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One of the study authors said “high doses” of the oligomers “cause adverse effects in the liver and thyroid which are due to metabolisation”.
Scientists have since advised the government to force manufacturers to compile data on how much oligomers their products give off when heated up.
And the BfR recommends consumers keep contact with food as brief as possible when using plastic utensils, especially at high temperatures.