By Connor Boyd Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 17:46 GMT, 7 November 2019 | Updated: 17:47 GMT, 7 November 2019
Keep your plastic utensils away from piping hot meals or risk ingesting a slew of toxic chemicals, health experts have warned.
Scientists say many cooking spoons, whisks and spatulas contain harmful substances named oligomers which leach onto food at temperatures above 70°C (158°F).
If swallowed in high doses, these man-made chemicals may trigger liver and thyroid disease. They have also been linked to infertility, cancer and high cholesterol.
The stark warning was issued in a new report from the food safety watchdog, the German Federal Institute For Risk Assessment (Bfr).
Many plastic cooking spoons, whisks and spatulas contain harmful substances which leach onto food at temperatures above 70C, scientists say (file image)
It comes amid mounting evidence that plastics used in the food industry harbour a host of harmful toxins which seep their way into our meals.
Many plastic utensils are made from synthetic chemicals to make them durable enough to withstand boiling temperatures and remain grease-proof.
Animal studies have shown these chemicals to increase tumours in the liver, pancreas and testicles of mice, as well as reducing their fertility.
The Bfr has warned people to keep hot food out of contact with their plastic utensils as they can give off oligomers.
These chemicals try to escape when the plastic is heated up and can latch onto food if the utensils are in direct contact, they say.
The watchdog has also advised the government to force