KLynnCakesAZ Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 7:42pm

I have never used dragees before, but I love the way the look, and was thinking about ordering some to use for cakes and cupcakes. I have read just about everywhere that they should not be eaten because they are basically coated in metal, and that's fine. What I don't understand is how some beautiful cakes can be encased in them. I just really can't see telling a client that every guest is going to have to meticulously take off all of the decorations before eating their cake, or they risk getting poisoned. For some reason I just can't figure out how to tell someone their wedding cake is coated in something that is dangerous if eaten. How do you guys explain this to clients? Do they ever react poorly to this?

42 replies
jason_kraft Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 8:13pm

Here in California that decision is easy...no one in the state sells dragees (and online retailers do not ship them to CA) because of a lawsuit filed in 2003.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/12/23/MNGS03SUEM1.DTL&;ao=all

carmijok Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 8:14pm

They are primarily sugar. The amount of dragees it would take to make someone sick would make them sick anyway even if they didn't have a metallic coating. Which many don't. There are the sugar dragees that are pearlized that are completely edible as well as the shiny ones. I would not want to coat anything with the silver or gold ones anyway because they are very hard and probably stand a better chance of chipping your teeth than sending you into a toxic overload.

Metallic Dragees are usually used sparingly and as accents here and there. When they are used as part of a flower, or in something like that, chances are they won't get eaten anyway. Don't fear the dragee.

KLynnCakesAZ Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 8:24pm

I have seen the pearlized ones without metal, but I was talking more about the metallic ones. I was definitely worried about poisoning people lol. I will have to get some and try them out! Thanks!

cakecraving Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 8:48pm

Wait....No where in CA sells these? This is crazy I looked in every supermarket for these little silver balls to put on a cake as a necklace/dog tag I could not locate them anywhere. Then I found a cake supply shop that had all different sizes. Could it be possible they have non-toxic ones.
I take Jason Kraft very seriously and I love that he always answers questions and attaches articles to back up his story. I follow a lot of his posts.
I am affraid I bought toxic silver balls. I do not sell my cakes they are only for friends and family but I dont want to make someone sick. Should I throw them out? Should I ask the retail shop if they are suppossed to be selling them?

jason_kraft Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 9:00pm

Silver is toxic, but the amount of silver in dragees is so small it should not cause a problem, as said above I would be more worried about chipping a tooth -- which is a real liability concern considering dragees are marked "for decoration only".

I would definitely remove the dragees before serving (or tell whoever is serving to do so).

As to why the cake supply shop was selling them, it's possible that they have not heard of the lawsuit threat. It's not illegal to sell dragees in CA, but no one is willing to take the risk for the small reward.

cashley Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 9:11pm

If these were actually that bad for people they would have been banned everywhere for sale. The lawyer is an environmentalist that thinks he should protect anyone who would eat these. There have been absolutley no cases of health risk to dragees. In another article that I read it was stated that to actually have a lead or silver potential hazard a person would have to eat more than a dump truck of them all at once. If you are too concerned about this then don't use them.

It takes one person suing to make people not want any potential bad publicity to settle. i will still use them and always have. It is your choice to make.

cakecraving Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 9:21pm

Awesome thanks for the good info. I like to try and stay on the up & up

FromScratchSF Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 9:46pm

As for the cake store selling in CA - they probably had to get them imported from France or another country - no US supplier will ship to California. The cake store can sell them, but they have to be "behind the counter" and/or away from other edibles, and the package has to be marked "for decorative purposes only, not for human consumption" or something like that. This is what my local cake store told me several months ago when I asked them how they were selling them!

I have some that I have considered using in the center of a gumpaste flower or something I know has no chance of being eaten, but I keep chickening out. It's not worth it to me.

sing Posted 27 Feb 2012 , 10:42pm

Wow! Lots of good information, thanks for posting.

carmijok Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 12:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakecraving

Wait....No where in CA sells these? This is crazy I looked in every supermarket for these little silver balls to put on a cake as a necklace/dog tag I could not locate them anywhere. Then I found a cake supply shop that had all different sizes. Could it be possible they have non-toxic ones.
I take Jason Kraft very seriously and I love that he always answers questions and attaches articles to back up his story. I follow a lot of his posts.
I am affraid I bought toxic silver balls. I do not sell my cakes they are only for friends and family but I dont want to make someone sick. Should I throw them out? Should I ask the retail shop if they are suppossed to be selling them?




Oh brother. This just kills me. Anyone can walk buck naked down public streets in San Francisco but you can't buy dragees there or anywhere in California for cake decoration. This is insane. I'd be more afraid of what's flying off of naked man and landing on me than what a tiny silver sugar ball would do to me on a cake. Dragees have been sold for DECADES at grocery stores with no problem. I don't believe I've ever heard of one 'death by dragee'. And now you have people scared to death of the food police because of a lawsuit won by a so-called 'environmentalist' who, I'm sure in his benevolent action, didn't make a dime of profit off the suit since he was doing it merely to 'protect the people.' (said with a heavy dose of sarcasm) This is very sad.
You won't hurt anyone if you use them for decor. I don't think you have toxic silver balls. You have dragees that up until a few years ago, were sold everywhere in grocery stores. Like I said before...do not fear the dragee. It's the people who WANT you to fear them that I'm afraid of!

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 12:28am

icon_rolleyes.gif

I know Tulsa, us kooks in San Francisco who run around naked rubbing our naughty bits all over your cake are a scary bunch. In fact, I keep my skin nice and soft by bathing in the butter I put into my buttercream. Don't even ask me how I bake my bread or pickle my cucumbers icon_eek.gif

It's not just CA, FYI. You will be disqualified from a cake competition for using non-edible dragees on your cake. They are not considered a food item. The end.

carmijok Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 1:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

icon_rolleyes.gif

I know Tulsa, us kooks in San Francisco who run around naked rubbing our naughty bits all over your cake are a scary bunch. In fact, I keep my skin nice and soft by bathing in the butter I put into my buttercream. Don't even ask me how I bake my bread or pickle my cucumbers icon_eek.gif

It's not just CA, FYI. You will be disqualified from a cake competition for using non-edible dragees on your cake. They are not considered a food item. The end.




So glad you're keeping your pickles well oiled! Now just keep a net on ALL your hair as you're walking naked around my cake and I'll be happy! icon_biggrin.gif
My point was that I thought it a bit strange that in the state of California, there is more concern over using a tiny sugar dragee on cake than there is with what to ME is a very unsanitary (and I'm sure sometimes unsightly) icon_surprised.gif situation in one of it's cities!

Somehow, walking around with your hoo-ha waving in the breeze and sitting with one's bare assets on restaurant or public chairs doesn't seem to pose any kind of health concern...but put a half dozen silver dragees on a cupcake and it's call the FDA!

They may be considered non-edible NOW...but that was only after someone sued. Such is our society today. And that's the naked truth! icon_twisted.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 2:03am

OK, wait, are you serious? You actually think there are people naked eating in restaurants and whatnot all over here in SF?

That's completely ridiculous. And one of the funniest things I've read on here for a while LOL

Chrisl121070 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 2:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

OK, wait, are you serious? You actually think there are people naked eating in restaurants and whatnot all over here in SF?

That's completely ridiculous. And one of the funniest things I've read on here for a while LOL




This totally cracked me up. LOL

Does anyone EVER walk around naked (other than Pride week)??

FromScratchSF Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 2:30am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisl121070

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

OK, wait, are you serious? You actually think there are people naked eating in restaurants and whatnot all over here in SF?

That's completely ridiculous. And one of the funniest things I've read on here for a while LOL



This totally cracked me up. LOL

Does anyone EVER walk around naked (other than Pride week)??




LMAO! Besides the occasional college chick that just moved here from Idaho that decides to be "cool" and go topless at Dolores park, NO. It's freakin cold and the sun is just about never out.

Seriously, I don't know where some people get this stuff!

TinkerCakes Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 2:30am

You can't buy them here in FL either. From what I understand it's illegal to sell them here but I could buy them online and have them shipped to me....unlike CA.
Although I love the look, it's just not worth the risk.

snowboarder Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 2:41am

I think this is the article that caused the OMG SAN FRANCISCO IS NAKED thing.

I've seen quite a few naked people in the Castro but --it's the Castro. Other than that, there is not a whole lot of naked in SF. icon_biggrin.gif

BlueRose8302 Posted 28 Feb 2012 , 3:06am

That's funny. My sister used to dump a LOT of dragees in her vanilla yougart as a kid. We had no idea they were not to eat and she liked the crunch.

Tinabarena Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 7:15pm

Wow! I did not know this. I use them all the time and my daughter likes to suck on them, then look at the sugar ball to see what color it is! Guess she won't be doing that anymore! Thanks for the info.!

jgifford Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 7:24pm

All of you are hilarious! Nice to see a sense of humor for a change. And it's very encouraging that not everyone takes themselves seriously.

Thank you so much! thumbs_up.gif

DeniseNH Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 7:47pm

Wait, I also heard nakedness in SF was legal. Please tell me it's not true. And why do we all think it is?

DeniseNH Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 7:50pm

And another thing, since when is shellac really good for a body - what do you think is sprayed all over shiney candies - yes, the governments says it's ok to digest a certain amount of shellac on candies and food items - for the sake of making them look more appealing - hence the phrase eye candy.

bobwonderbuns Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 7:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Silver is toxic, but the amount of silver in dragees is so small it should not cause a problem, as said above I would be more worried about chipping a tooth -- which is a real liability concern considering dragees are marked "for decoration only".

I would definitely remove the dragees before serving (or tell whoever is serving to do so).

As to why the cake supply shop was selling them, it's possible that they have not heard of the lawsuit threat. It's not illegal to sell dragees in CA, but no one is willing to take the risk for the small reward.




That doesn't make sense, that silver is toxic. If silver is toxic, how come they give it to newborn babies in their eyes???

Most all of us grew up eating the "little silver BBs" as we called them -- with no problem at all. (This is also the generation that grew up riding bikes without helmets and making snowflakes out of pop cans!) icon_lol.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 10:20pm

LOL! I didn't know this thread was still going!

I don't know if being naked is illegal, actually. I have seen naked people, but have never just seen naked people walking down the street, shopping, and doing daily life things. I only see the naked people for events like Bay to Breakers or the Folsom Street Fair. But then again, I'm a resident and not a tourist so I don't do any of the tourist things.

I'll tell you one thing, no cop is going to arrest a naked person unless they are doing something really disruptive like also being drunk. There are way too many real criminals to deal with, no point in messing with someone letting their fun bags breath or a dude letting the little man hang in the breeze icon_biggrin.gif (and I mean LITTLE. It's COLD here.) LOL

jason_kraft Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 10:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

That doesn't make sense, that silver is toxic. If silver is toxic, how come they give it to newborn babies in their eyes???



Because silver is toxic in large doses, which is why I said "the amount of silver in dragees is so small it should not cause a problem".

Re the eyedrops given to newborns, erythromycin is typically used instead of silver nitrate, since silver nitrate can cause more irritation. Administering eye drops at birth is not even necessary unless the mother has tested positive for certain STDs, it is standard for public health reasons (similar to the hep B vaccine at birth) but can be declined.

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