We may earn a fee if you buy via links in this post (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Matfer Bourgeat Carbon Steel Pans Recalled In France (What We Know)

French regulators issued a recall on April 17th for Matfer Bourgeat carbon steel pans. During routine testing, the pans released levels of iron, chromium, and arsenic that exceeded safety limits. The recall is only in France for now, but the affected pans are the same ones sold in the USA and Canada.

Matfer claims there aren’t any issues. They posted on Reddit saying the pans only failed the tests because they weren’t seasoned. Here’s a direct quote from Matfer’s Reddit post:

“Recently our local governing body in the Isère Departement of France did some routine food safety testing on our Black Carbon Steel Pans…and tested them bare and unseasoned, instead of according to factory use and seasoning instructions.

They dinged us, not taking into account what everyone here knows full well: That these pans are supposed to be seasoned before use.

We’re working with the requisite authorities to get this cleared up. In the meantime, there is a cessation of sales on some Matfer Black Carbon Steel Fry Pans within the European Union. This is the result of our local authorities’ specific administrative interpretation and not an indication of any deficiency or change in the product itself.

We’re making them the same way, and with the same stringent quality control and top quality raw materials, as we have been.”

I called Matfer Bourgeat’s customer service line and spoke with a representative, who reiterated what was said in the Reddit post. She told me regulators made an error while testing the pan, and they are working with them to fix the issue. They expect to have a resolution in the next few weeks.

She also mentioned they are working with third parties to test the pans in the US to prove they are safe.

Amazon further complicated the situation by emailing customers outside the EU who had purchased the recalled pans. In these emails, Amazon informed the customers about the recall and cautioned them about the pans’ failure to meet safety standards.

Update from Scott Davis’ Interview with Matfer Bourgeat

In a recent email interview conducted by Scott Davis from the popular YouTube channel Uncle Scott’s Kitchen, Matfer Bourgeat provided more details about the recall of their carbon steel pans in France.

According to Matfer, the recall was issued by the Direction Departementale de la Protection des Populations (DDPP) of Isère, a department-level governing body in France, after they conducted a random test on a Matfer Bourgeat black carbon steel fry pan.

The DDPP tested the pan by boiling a 5g/L citric acid solution in an unseasoned pan for 2 hours, which Matfer claims is not representative of reasonable use and differs from the testing methodology established by the European Union and the French federal government.

Matfer maintains that all their black carbon steel cookware fully complies with the stringent food safety standards of the French governing body DGCCRF and the European Union. They also mentioned that there have been no reported negative health effects from using the pans and that they are safe to use, regardless of batch, lot, or country of distribution.

The company clarifies that the testing performed by the DDPP of Isère is the first time this particular test has been conducted on their black carbon steel cookware, and they believe it does not take into account the product knowledge of their customers.

In other words, their customers understand that the pan needs to be seasoned and that they shouldn’t boil acidic foods for two hours. Matfer is currently working to appeal the recall decision.

Regarding the raw materials, Matfer states that all their carbon steel comes from the EU and passes the necessary regulations for manufacturing in food contact environments. They also mention that independent third-party tests have found their pans to meet the rigorous standards of the DGCCRF and the EU.

Matfer is actively pursuing food safety certifications in the US and is seeking independent third-party testing conducted by an FDA-approved, US-based laboratory to provide additional consumer confidence.

My Thoughts

I’ve got to be honest; this whole thing is a bit worrying. The details about the testing and possible mistakes are murky. Matfer’s Reddit post suggests that seasoning is the solution, but we all know seasoning wears off and isn’t always kept up perfectly. That’s not a great excuse.

While it is reassuring to hear that Matfer maintains their pans are safe and comply with EU and French federal regulations, the concerns raised by the DDPP of Isère’s testing method cannot be dismissed entirely.

As a precautionary measure, I recommend holding off on using Matfer carbon steel pans until more information is available or until the appeal process is concluded.

As always, I will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available. Please reach out if you have any further questions or concerns.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

Our Favorite Products in One Convenient Place

Want to see all the products we recommend in one convenient place? Visit the Prudent Reviews Amazon shop to browse a handpicked selection of our favorite cookware, kitchen knives, appliances, and more.

As an Amazon Associate Prudent Reviews earns from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Prudent Reviews Footer Logo

Send Us Mail:
60 North Street, Unit 882
Medfield, MA 02052

Send Us an Email:

As an Amazon Associate, Prudent Reviews earns fees when you click on links within our articles and make qualifying purchases.