The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are warning that some decorative glitters and dusts promoted for use on foods may, in fact, contain materials that should not be eaten.

It's the most glittery time of the year and it brings a uniquely modern problem. People want to eat glitter. That's fine, but let's just make sure that it's actually edible first.

Christmas cookies, cupcakes and more can contain glitter, but some glitter which is not edible is being promoted as safe to eat.

MDARD gives advice on how to tell if glitter is safe to eat:

  • Carefully check the label of any decorative product you’re considering for use in foods. Companies that make edible glitters and dusts are required by law to include a list of ingredients on the label.
  • Common ingredients in edible glitter or dust include sugar, acacia (gum arabic), maltodextrin, cornstarch, and color additives specifically approved for food use, including mica-based pearlescent pigments and FD&C colors such as FD&C Blue No. 1.
  • Most edible glitters and dusts also state “edible” on the label.
  • If the label simply says “non-toxic” or “for decorative purposes only” and does not include an ingredients list, you should not use the product directly on foods.
  • If you choose to decorate a food item with decorations that are not edible, be sure to remove the decorations before serving and eating the food.
  • If you purchase glitter and dust products on the Internet, ask the seller to provide ingredient information from the manufacturer before you make any purchases.
  • If you are purchasing baked goods, talk to your bakery about the types of decorative products used in their baked goods and ask if they are made with all edible ingredients.

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