Are Colored Toothpicks Safe To Cook With? Here Is What Science Says

  • By: Emma
  • Date: August 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Did you know that certain foods can trigger an allergic reaction in some people? Even if you have no known allergies, these foods may still cause a reaction in some individuals.

In this regard, a frequently asked question is, “Are Colored Toothpicks Safe To Cook With?” Check out the details about whether or not it’s safe to eat with colored toothpicks below for more information on this topic.

Table of Contents

Are colored toothpicks safe to cook with?

Colored toothpicks are made of FDA-approved food dyes such as D&C Blue No.1 and FD&C Blue No.3. So colored toothpicks are safe to cook with. The dyes in colored toothpicks do not leach down in the food, and the wood of these toothpicks does not catch fire.

The table below shows the FDA-approved color additives used to dye colored toothpicks and whether these additives pose any health risk to you.

Serial No.FDA-approved color additivesHealth risk
1D&C Blue No. 1No
2FD&C Blue No. 2No
3FD&C Green No. 3No
4Orange BNo
5Citrus Red No. 2No
6FD&C Red No. 3No
7FD&C Red No. 40No
8FD&C Yellow No. 5No
9FD&C Yellow No. 6No
Table 1: Are Colored Toothpicks Safe To Cook With? FDA Approved color additives used in toothpicks and their health risk status.

Related: Can you put wood in the microwave?

What kind of dyes are used to make colored toothpicks?

Table 1 (above) shows the 9 different color additives used to dye colored toothpicks. All these dyes are safe for your health.

However, dyes used in some colored toothpicks have a chemical called phthalocyanine. This particular type of dye contains traces of allergens. It’s called a “reactive dye.” Reactive dyes can react with proteins in your body and cause an allergic reaction, even if you don’t know that you’re allergic to them.

So, when you buy colored toothpicks, make sure to check the label. If it says “phthalocyanine” on it, avoid using it for cooking purposes.

What can I use instead of toothpicks when cooking?

When cooking with color-dipped toothpicks, buy natural wood or bamboo toothpicks. It’s essential that the wood or bamboo isn’t dyed and is safe to eat without worrying about any adverse reactions.

In addition, you can still use these natural toothpicks for decoration rather than those colored ones.

Another solution is to use a wooden skewer instead. It takes on the same purpose as a toothpick but doesn’t contain any dyes and doesn’t pose any risks of allergic reactions.

You can use your fingers instead if you want to avoid using a skewer. You’ll just need some gloves, and some food prep gloves are often made of natural materials like cotton or microfiber, so they’re not as dangerous as other synthetic gloves that may have traces of dyes in them.

Lastly, using an electric mixer when preparing your food is easier on your hands than using a spoon or fork to stir things up.

What are some myths about cooking with colored toothpicks?

There are many myths about cooking with colored toothpicks.

For example, you might not be able to eat anything when you have just eaten a meal containing color dyes with your toothpicks. This is not true, though. The truth is that you can cook and eat whatever you like as long as the food isn’t contaminated with these allergens.

Some people even use these toothpicks to help clean their kitchen appliances.

Another myth is that there is no way of knowing if a toothpick has been dyed with an allergen or not. Because this is a common concern, you may wonder how you can determine if your toothpicks are safe for consumption.

If in doubt, it’s always best to stick with plain wood for your daily oral care needs until you know more about the dye’s safety on your toothpicks.

Are bamboo toothpicks oven safe?

A question that I often get asked is, “Are bamboo toothpicks safe to eat with?” The answer is yes. Bamboo toothpicks are a healthy alternative to wood or plastic and can be used in the oven for cooking or at a campfire.

The only downside to using bamboo toothpicks instead of wooden ones is the color. Some people find it easier to differentiate between the two types of toothpicks when eating something hot like spaghetti or macaroni and cheese.

If you’re using bamboo toothpicks, ensure you rinse them before using them so they don’t absorb flavors from your food.

What can I use instead of toothpicks for stuffed chicken breast?

It’s best not to use toothpicks at all. If you still have some leftovers from a previous dinner, don’t worry. You can safely eat them in moderation as long as they’re free of any dyes or flavors that could cause an allergic reaction.

You can also use bamboo skewers, metal skewers, or chopsticks for your stuffed chicken breast. Since toothpicks are made with wood and plastic, they can leach harmful chemicals into your food over time. This is why it’s better just to avoid using them altogether.

What can I use instead of a toothpick to check brownies?

If you feel like you or your family might be allergic to toothpicks, you may want to switch to another type of tool. There are plenty of alternatives that come with less risk of accidentally ingesting an allergen.

A spoon is an excellent option for this task. Another alternative is using a fork. Some utensils have no toothpick-like features and can be used as an all-purpose tool for cooking and cleaning up around the kitchen.

Colored toothpicks are safe to use if they aren’t dyed with food dyes because most dyes only contain trace amounts of allergens. However, there is still a risk in eating with them since some people who are allergic may not be able to recognize what the dye is, especially when it’s dispersed throughout a baked good or dish.

If you’re interested in switching out your toothpick for something else, consider swapping it out for a spoon or fork, or skip the utensil altogether!

Can toothpicks go in the air fryer?

You can use toothpicks in your air fryer as long as it’s not too close to the heating element. Colored toothpicks are safe to eat, but if your toothpick has food coloring, you should be cautious when cooking. Additionally, these colored toothpicks shouldn’t be used near your heating element.


So, are colored toothpicks safe to cook with? To cook with colored toothpicks, it is crucial to use food-safe dyes or natural ingredients that are safe to ingest. You can use bamboo toothpicks or skewers instead of colored toothpicks when cooking, and you can even use chopsticks or tongs. Other options include using oven-safe skewers or a toothpick as a probe to test brownies without going in the pan.