Think twice before eating that holiday cookie — but not because of the calories. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants you to know that not all cookie sprinkles are actually safe to eat.
Specifically, silver-covered decorative sprinkles are not approved as an edible food item. Despite the FDA’s incessant and insistent warnings, people have been baking with the silver morsels, anyway.
Officially called “silver dragées,” these decorative items have been on the FDA’s naughty list since 1906, when silver was banned as a food additive. In the 1970’s, the culinary world caught on to the use of silver to decorate food and began coating sprinkles in a very thin layer. This prompted FDA disapproval and a release denouncing the sprinkles as a purely decorative (and nonedible) food item.
Regardless of warnings, these silver-colored decorative sprinkles are sold in 49 states as of today, prohibited only in California. California banned the sprinkles in 2003 following a lawsuit showing they were significantly harmful if ingested.