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How to Assess Safety in Imported Cookware Products: Compliance with European and American Cookware Regulations

by Redazione on 20 Mar 2019
European and American cookware regulations exist to create a baseline quality measurement. Consumers know when they buy a product that is compliant with European regulations or American standards, they are getting quality pots and pans that have been thoroughly tested for domestic use. These standards are helpful, but not identical, on either side of the Atlantic.
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European Regulations for Cookware Products

European regulations set out the safety and performance standards for all household cookware, including pieces to be used on the stove top and in the oven. Here a summary of most crucial tests regarding handles for cookware in the EU standards:
  • Resistance to Burning: this test is performed to ensure that if a handle is accidentally exposed to a direct flame source, it won't melt, lose pieces and put the user or the surface at risk of burns or surface damage. 
  • Heat Resistance Test: this test is performed to ensure that the handle doesn't crack or break under exposure to prolonged heat by inserting the handle into the oven at 150 ° UNI EN logoC/302 ° F for an hour. F.B.M. tests articles at a higher temperatures to guarantee heat resistance.
  • Torque Resistance Test: this test involves the application of a torsion force on both sides of the handle, tightening the axis to ensure rotations don't damage the fastening system. 
  • Bending Strength Test: this test exposes the handle to a force of 10 kg/22 lbs gradually released on the posterior part of the handle. The test stresses the resistance of the fixing system and the handle to ensure the user's safety.
  • Fatigue Test: in this test the pot is filled in with an extra load and undergoes 15,000 cycles of up and down. This test wants to ensure that the handle and its fixing system won’t have any permanent distortion or loosening since it stresses the cookware by overloading it with much more weight that what will be used in normal domestic cooking.

American Regulations for Pots and Pans

In the U.S.A., The Cookware Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) is a trade organization that sets voluntary standards for the industry’s products. Manufacturers who adhere to CMA standards are encouraged to state this fact in advertising and promotional materials, as well as on product tags and labels.

The list of tests required by the CMA is pretty similar to the European ones:

  • Flame Soften Testing can be compared with the Resistance to Burning Test in the EU standard.CMA-psd-logo The concept is basically the same, except the US Flame Softening test requires the handle to be exposed to a flame for a double period with respect to the EU one.
  • Torque Resistance for Stick Handle Pans Test and Fatigue Tests are performed in the same way in Europe and USA.

On the contrary, the CMA standards requires a very strict and unique test:  

  • Assembly Strength Test. This one is particularly challenging in its HOT procedure since it requires the cookware to be loaded and to resist in a heated oven at 350 °F. This challenging test puts stress on the mechanical properties of the pot during weight lifting phase. It can be considered the test that determines the main difference between the two regulations.

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Topics: EU standards regulation