I have started shopping for new cookware and hope to replace all my non-stick pots and pans with good, old-fashioned metal, prompted by reports that some plastic coatings may break down under high heat and contaminate food.
I long ago stopped re-heating food in plastic containers for the same reason. But a dinnerware set I bought in 2007 left a really bad taste in my mouth, raising the suspicion that a lot of products made in China may not be safe. And so much of the cookware I have looked at is made in China.
In 2007, I bought the elaborately painted Villa della Luna pattern from Pfaltzgraff, enough plates, bowls and cups for 12. When I re-heated leftovers -- and we cook at home five days a week and eat a lot of leftovers -- I would plate the food before putting it in the microwave. After about a year, I started to notice that the paint on the dinner plates I used to reheat food was fading in the dishwasher.
I called Pfaltzgraff, only to be told that the dinner plates and other items in my set had been recalled, because tests revealed high levels of lead and cadmium. I had never received a notice of the recall, but, luckily, I still had the original boxes, now filled with my old dinnerware. I packed up the new pattern and returned it, then had to fight with Pfaltzgraff to get a refund.
I used the old plates until I finally found dinnerware that wasn't made in China -- porcelain in a simple white-on-white pattern made in Germany by Rosenthal. I feel much safer re-heating food in the microwave. And I'm searching for pots and pans made anywhere but in China.