No matter what type of event you’re hosting, sparklers can be a great addition to the celebration. Fortunately, manufacturers have responded with a plethora of product types to cater to every need. From holidays like the 4th of July to using sparklers for graduation parties, the possibilities are virtually endless. However, there is a newer trend out there involving using sparklers to decorate things like cakes, champagne bottles, or other food and drink options. While this can be a lot of fun, it’s important to choose food-safe sparklers to eliminate any possible toxins from being introduced into your food. Here is a breakdown of what makes a particular version considered food-safe.

Key Components of Food-Safe Sparklers

Image of Food-Safe Sparklers on a Birthday CakeWhen it comes to food safety, you need to be extremely careful about what you’re doing. Obviously, the majority of people are aware of food-borne illnesses like salmonella and E. coli that can make you extremely sick and even be life-threatening. However, toxins from things like red dye 40 or cleaning agents can be equally unhealthy. As such, you need to make sure you’re using food-safe sparklers it you plan to use them in conjunction with something you plan to eat. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to determine if a particular version is safe to use with food. Here are some key factors and tips.

  • Make sure the sparklers contain no chlorates or perchlorates.
  • The device should never come into direct contact with your food or beverage.
  • Avoid sparklers that contain color pigments because some of them can be harmful if swallowed.
  • The sparks should shoot in one direction and point away from any food.
  • Most versions designed for use with food will have a food-grade anchoring spike.

Which Types are Considered Food-Safe Sparklers?

Now that you know what factors to look for from a food safety perspective, let’s take a look at some specific products that are designed for this purpose. Whether you plan to use them on something you’ll be eating or something you’ll be drinking, here are the safest options.

Cake Sparklers

One of the most obvious reasons to purchase food-safe sparklers is to use them on a cake. For many people, a birthday cake is the most popular way to use them for this purpose. However, you can also put sparklers on a wedding cake or use them a graduation party! Also known as candle sparklers, these are the safest way to decorate your cake without leaving any harmful residue. They feature a small anchoring spike that will hold the device steady during the performance. Best of all, the design will also ensure your frosting doesn’t get tarnished. If the presentation of your cake is important, choosing a proper food-grade option is the best way to go.

Bottle Sparklers

The other way that people use sparklers with food or drink is by attaching them to a champagne bottle. Fortunately, there are sparklers designed for use with bottles that make the job simple and safe. Unlike versions designed for cakes, bottle sparklers are attached using a small plastic clip to secure them to the neck of the bottle. However, many of the features are the same; including the fact that they are food-safe. This allows you to safely attach them to your bottles without worrying about contamination of the champagne. This is a great option for nightclubs, weddings, or any type of celebration that benefits from a champagne toast.

Which Types of Sparklers are Not Food-Safe?

Image of People Holding Regular Sparklers Near a CakeOn the flip-side of this, there several types of sparklers that are not safe to use around food. Most of these are the classic versions that you’re probably already familiar with. However, to be as specific as possible, I’ve discuss the types below that should be avoided at all costs. Let’s get started.

Gold Sparklers

Overall, the most common version that you’ll see are gold sparklers. They can be made from either steel wire for the handle, or they can be made from wood such as bamboo. By design, they are intended to be held in your hand at a safe distance from your body. Optionally, they can be placed in the ground or another stable object to keep them safe during the performance. They are available in a variety sizes ranging from a mere 8 inches in length to the very long sparklers up to 36 inches. Sadly, the way these versions are designed can lead to residues and particles contaminating food. Additionally, some of the cheaper brands cut corners and can include harmful chemical toxins. For all these reasons, gold sparklers are not safe to use around food you plan to consume.

Color Sparklers

Another common version you’ll find on store shelves are sparklers that have additional color pigments included. These pigments allow the performance to include red, blue, and green colored sparks instead of the traditional gold ones. In fact, there are even very colorful neon sparklers available if you want a performance that will truly be impressive! Usually, they are made exclusively from steel wire due to the heavy concentration of color pigments. Similar to gold versions, the design is such that the particles can easily contaminate foods. In fact, the pigments themselves can be a source of harmful toxins that can be harmful if ingested. For all of these reasons, food-safe sparklers will never contain color pigments.

Popular Ways to Use Food-Safe Sparklers

Now that you understand what constitutes a food-safe sparkler, let’s take a moment to discuss some ways they can be used. Obviously, there are tons of ways that people use them ranging from 4th of July parties to enjoying sparklers at a wedding. However, versions that are designed for use with food have a totally different set of purposes. Here are a few of the best ideas to give you some inspiration.

  • Cake Toppers: Place them on top of birthday cakes, wedding cakes, or celebration cakes for a dazzling effect when lit.
  • Cupcake Decorations: Insert short-length sparklers into individual cupcakes to create a festive display.
  • Dessert Presentations: Add them to other desserts like pies, tarts, or cheesecakes for a memorable presentation.
  • Cocktail Garnishes: Use sparklers as garnishes in cocktails or mocktails to make drinks stand out at parties.
  • Fruit Platters: Decorate fruit platters or fruit bouquets with food-safe sparklers for an exciting and eye-catching centerpiece.
  • Wedding and Anniversary Toasts: Attach them to the neck of your favorite champagne to make a huge impression before making your wedding or anniversary toast.
  • Cheese Boards: Use them to enhance cheese boards or charcuterie platters with for an extra touch of flair.
  • Surprise Reveals: Use sparklers to add an element of surprise when revealing a special dish or dessert at events.
  • Themed Celebrations: Integrate them into food displays for themed parties, like New Year’s Eve or Fourth of July, to match the celebratory spirit.
  • Photography: Light sparklers on food for photo shoots to capture magical moments for social media or marketing materials.
  • Event Announcements: Light them on a special dish when announcing important events, like engagements, promotions, or pregnancy reveals.
  • Bottle Service: Attach them to bottles to entice customers to buy premium services like bottle service or VIP tables.

Are Food-Safe Sparklers the Right Fit for My Event?

Before you decide on a specific type of sparklers for your event, you need to weigh your options carefully. For most occasions, there’s no reason to look for specialty items like food-safe sparklers because they simply aren’t necessary. However, if you plan to use them on or near anything you will be eating or drinking, it’s really the only option you should consider. At the end of the day, they are specifically designed for cakes, food, and beverages so you don’t taint anything that will go into your body. If you have no interest in using them around something you plan to consume, you should just go a more traditional route. Good luck and thanks for reading!