Are there dangers in using guardian service cookware?

Written by j.e. cornett
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Are there dangers in using guardian service cookware?
(BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Whether you inherited a set of Guardian Service cookware, or picked up a few pieces at a flea market or yard sale, then you're in luck: Guardian Service is not only highly collectable, it's perfectly safe to use.

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Guardian Service, or Guardian Ware, was produced from the mid 1930s to the 1950s. This durable, hammered aluminium cookware has been a staple of kitchens for more than 50 years.


Fears about the suggested link between aluminium cookware such as Guardian Service and Alzheimer's disease has led to perceived safety concerns about cooking with aluminium. The FDA has found insufficient evidence that there is any danger associated with using aluminium cookware.


While aluminium cookware is not dangerous to use, you should take a few points into account when using Guardian Service and other aluminium cookware. Aluminium is a reactive metal; using aluminium cookware to cook or store highly acidic foods such as tomatoes or citrus fruits can result in damage and discolouration to the cookware, along with changes to the food's taste or smell.


The reactive nature of aluminium means that cookware like Guardian Service often oxidises, turning grey or even black when reacting with foods such as eggs or potatoes. This oxidation may stain light-coloured foods, but it is not dangerous.

Fun Fact

Prior to World War II, all Guardian Service cookware was manufactured with aluminium lids. Aluminium shortages during the war resulted in a change to glass lids.

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