Matfer Bourgeat carbon steel pan product recalls

This is from a French site, where product recalls are gathered.:

Legal nature of the recall:
Imposed by prefectural decree

Model names or references
062001 - 062002 - 062003 - 062004 - 062005 - 062006

Reason for recall:
release rate of certain constituents in quantities exceeding the rates set by Regulation (EU) 1935/2004 relating to food contact

Additional description of the risk:
Release of iron, chromium, arsenic

A couple Reddit links, first one looks like Matfers response at the carbonsteel subreddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/carbonsteel/s/EF74jhtpGX

More discussion, opened by someone who received a recall notification from Amazon:
https://www.reddit.com/r/carbonsteel/s/t9zkB2rMQo

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Hmmm, curious what the arsenic levels were. Iron from a steel pan? Encroyable!

I would be also, but I’m not sure if the test results are available somewhere to be seen. This case has spurred some discussion there on reddit. Matfer didn’t mention anything about the arsenic it seems, mostly just pointed out they had tested an unseasoned pan.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll gladly repeat it once again.

The argument, that people have been using raw cast iron and raw carbon steel pans for 100’s of years and noone seem to have been taken ill from using the raw pans is not an argument I buy since - to my knowledge - noone seem to have conducted any kind of tests regarding this subject, so basically we don’t know if you in fact can get cancer/arsenic poisoning or other diseases from using such pans.

This is not an argument to say teflon pans are any better or worse - I just simply find it interesting, that noone seem to be interested in potential side effects regarding our health when using raw iron pans for daily cooking.

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I use many carbon steel and cast iron cookware, but I agree your point. Just because something has been used for a long time, it only shows that it has no acute effect, but it cannot prove it has no chronic effect. I think the iron part is not likely the concern because we do have a decent understand iron. The effect of the “seasoned” layer (polymerized oil/fat) is less known.

However, at the end, we can question almost all cookware materials like stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, Teflon and of course aluminum… I guess glass cookware is probably the known to be truly inert.

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It’s guys like the guy behind the Youtube channel ‘Cook culture’ who bashes teflon pans (and rightfully so to a degree) and then blindly recommends everyone to use raw cast iron and raw carbon steel pans that makes me wonder why he doesn’t question how healthy it is to cook in seasoned raw iron pans on a daily basis.

I’ve posted questions to him several times regarding this subject, but he ignores my questions - so I’ve stopped watching his videos.

I think many people have gut notion of “human made chemicals are bad, natural substances are good”. Iron exists in nature - good, polymerized oil exists in nature - good. Teflon is human made - bad.

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I think you’re right.

I’m in the fragrance business and people have the same notion here.

If a fragrance contains a lot of natural ingredients, people tend to acknowledge it more than if the fragrance is made from a lot of synthetic ingredients.

The fun part is, that you can get even worse skin irritation from natural ingredients than you usually will get from synthetic ingredients, because the synthetic ingredients usually are tested far more in controlled environments than the natural ingredients are.

On the stovetop I use stainless, carbon steel and both raw and enamelled cast iron. In the oven mostly porcelain/ceramic, but also my darto n35 is there often, along with my eci and sometimes the food sits on parchment paper. Edit. On the rare occasion also in borosilicate glass and maybe I forget something. In any case, I believe using a variety is good.

I will continue to use my de Buyer carbon steel, even if Matfer, another French manufacturer has now been subject for recalls.

Not to mention the cookware choices are a drop in the ocean when it comes to health in general. Maybe its not so cool to read about arsenic in carbon steel pans of course, but nice that it was spotted. I don’t know know how much tests like these are done, but wouldn’t mind if there was “more of this”.

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Well, what we may be dealing with here is very low regulatory thresholds in Europe, where trace levels–essentially ANY detectable–is too much.

In the old Chowhound days, there was argument about heavy metal levels in food-grade tin. Assays included with purchases usually show 0.0004% for lead, arsenic and cadmium combined. Is this enough to cause concern? Not for me. But perhaps for Euro regulators. 99.9996 pure is as close to perfection as possible.

Testing unseasoned steel seems a little unreasonable, just as testing cast iron fresh from its green sand mold in the foundry.

Yes, I don’t know based on what amounts they listed the arsenic there, it could be very little, insignificant. And I wouldn’t care about the other two.

It’s an interesting case though, wonder if there’s a chance it could be turned over still. As Matfer mentioned on Reddit, they are “working with the requisite authorities to get his cleared up”.

This 1935/2004 seems to be some kind of framework, setting safety princibles for materials to come in contact with food. I didn’t find it directly setting any limit and I’m not going to waste all evening trying to find out what it Could be.

Yes, Matfer sounded quite confident, didn’t they?

Well, the arsenic seems problematic.

Iron (obviously) and chromium (trace amounts) are necessary elements and found in a lot of multivitamins like this one:

Not everyone (on Reddit) feel that way :wink:

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Good one, Pertti :+1:

We can all just start eating our daily rice and get the arsenic in that way the natural way :rofl:

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According to a YouTuber called uncle scot. The case has bin cleared and the pans are perfectly safe.

It was caused by a new and apparently oversensitive way of testing the pans. The new testing was performed by boiling an acidic fluid(comparable to tomatoes) for 2 hours in a non seasoned pan.

Personally I have no fear using carbon steel pans, or raw cast iron for that sake. I never cook acidic food in them anyway but use stainless or ECI.

I try to avoid non stick coatings in any way. But that is mostly because. That I through my function in a workers union have bin presented with rapports documenting health issues combined with high pfas numbers in bloodsampless from a workforce that have worked with industrial pfas products in different industries.

But I will point out that nothing suggest that the workers got the pfas levels from manufacturing or using non stick cookware.

https://youtu.be/FFmKK3FoTVE?si=dg2vIigH87W4HKdG

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Hey Soren,

I still think there is reason to worry just a tiny bit.

If you tend to make pansauces in your well seasoned carbon steel pan and you intend to balance it with some kind of acid, like lemon juice, lime juice, sherry vinegar or a balsamic vinegar, can you be 100% sure there isn’t any chance of some leakage from the material in the pan coming into the sauce ?

We probably will never know for sure.

I got rid of all my raw carbon steel pans for several reasons - one being, that I felt the flavour of the pan sauces I made in my well seasoned carbon steel had an off taste, probably coming from parts of the old seasoning and could also be from minor particles leaking from the pan under the seasoning.

in Europe?

try the Delaney Act.

now that we’re measuring to parts per billion and parts per trillion, the Delaney Act would remove roughly 99.97765% of all food stuffs on the shelf.

Use stainless when you contemplate an integral sauce. You don’t need extremely high heat, anyway, since you’ll burn the fond, and ruin the sauce. Bring the heat when the sauce is made separately, if you have a sauce at all (and you should :wink: )

Hi Charlie,

I agree.

I always use a pan/pot with a stainless interior when making pan sauces or really any kind of sauce, unless it’s a stew or a ragu, where I tend to prefer enamelled cast iron Staub & Le Creuset for naive romantic reasons.

After getting my 3 thick walled Demeyere Proline 7-ply stainless steel frying pans I haven’t regretted selling my carbon steel pans for one second.