Cherrico Pottery Safety Analysis

Cherrico Pottery product safety is a top priority. All products sold on our websites (store.cherricopottery.com, cosmicmugs.com and patreon.com/cherricopottery) are tested to meet and even to exceed all applicable product safety laws and standards.

Updated: 8/17/21

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update:

Here at Cherrico Pottery, our team consists of 4 people living in the United States in Minnesota:

  • Joel Cherrico, Potter, Minnesota
  • Sienna Cherrico, Office Manager, Minnesota
  • Katie, Pottery Studio and Office Technician, Minnesota
  • Cortland, Pottery Studio and Office Technician, Minnesota

The Minnesota requirements are consistently posted on the government website here: https://mn.gov/governor/covid-19/news/ We consistently adapt and comply with all required safety precautions. Here at Cherrico Pottery, we are fortunate that we could implement extensive safety precautions quickly and effectively in our large, new pottery studio and office. 

We start each work day by vigorously washing hands before handling any pottery, and to make a conscious effort not to touch our face or mouth during work. We are also diligently cleaning all work surfaces with disinfectant spray consistently every day. We have a longer list of safety precautions too, including physical distancing and health screenings daily. We also wear masks when more than one person is working together in the same indoor space. 

Our team members are in good health, and will continue crafting, packing and shipping pottery as long as they are in good health daily.

Customers: When you buy any pottery, just to be safe, please recycle your exterior cardboard box right away, and wash your pottery thoroughly with dish soap and hot water.

We use the US Post Office and UPS to deliver 100% of Cherrico Pottery to customers. Both services have done risk assessments and decided to remain open. We plan to continue shipping pottery using these two services as long as they remain open. You can view their public statements using these two links:

US Post Office Coronavirus Statement

UPS Coronavirus Statement

Please be patient with expected increased shipping times. Pottery is non-essential. Therefore, we expect your package delivery to be delayed. Cherrico Pottery usually ships your order within 1-2 business days, but the Post Office and UPS must give priority to essential services. 

If you have any concerns with delivery of your package, please email us here anytime: contact@cherricopottery.com


We also conducted a risk assessment and determined that there is no evidence to support elevated risk of Coronavirus on Cherrico Pottery compared to any other products, specifically our “Factory Designed Cosmic Mugs” that we sourced, “Made in China.”

The cdc.gov (The US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control) stated:

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website as it becomes available.”

To further ensure safety, Cherrico Pottery tracked every import step of our mugs, to guarantee we evaluate all potential Coronavirus risk. We determined there is no elevated risk specific to our Factory Designed Cosmic Mugs.

    • All mugs arrived in the United States January 12th, 2019 or earlier. Mugs spent 12 days in transit in the United States: first at a US Customs Port and then in transportation to our studio in St. Joseph, Minnesota. 
    • 100% of our “Factory Designed Cosmic Mugs” available for sale at Cherrico Pottery have been in inventory storage for 2 months to date.
    • No more mugs will be imported this year.

Today, we have enough “Factory Designed Cosmic Mugs” to last us many months. Our current plan is that no additional mugs will be imported until 2021 or later. This helps us guarantee that there is no elevated risk of Coronavirus. So, when our current inventory is “Sold Out” then no more mugs will be available.

We might decided to change that plan in Coronavirus risk is eliminated, and we will update policies on this page of our website if that happens. But today, our current plan is to import no additional mugs for the remainder of 2020.


All Cherrico Pottery is food safe, non-toxic and meant to be used and enjoyed everyday.

Cherrico Pottery domestic, handmade vessels are made by potter Joel Cherrico in St. Joseph, Minnesota. All pottery complies with all Pottery (Ceramics) US Food and Drug Administration standards here. Cherrico Pottery contains no lead or cadmium. 

Cherrico Pottery is made from only Stoneware and Porcelain clays. All pottery is vitrified to about 1% or less absorption rate based on our independent testing. With normal use, Cherrico Pottery does not allow the migration of deleterious substances or impart colors, odors or tastes to food, as required by pages 113-114 of the FDA Food Code here.

    • FDA Food Code Page 114, (E) requires that serving vessels be, “Resistant to pitting, chipping, crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and decomposition.” Cherrico Pottery is handmade, so every vessels is different. Some vessels might contain small glaze imperfections, specifically pitting, chipping, crazing and scratching.  However, the Cherrico Pottery Team works hard to continually try and eliminate these imperfections on pottery, and to make pottery resistant to all of these imperfections through our continual practice of maintaining the highest quality standards in glaze chemistry, kiln firings and material choices. Occasionally some flaws do occur. However, their affects are minor. Under regular, household use, they do not allow the migration of deleterious substances or impart colors, odors or tastes to food.

    • Significant flaws also occasionally happen in handmade pottery in extremely rare instances, far below 1% of our production. If your pottery has any flaws that you discover do impart colors, odors or tastes to food after regular use, please email us immediately and we will do whatever is required to solve this problem for you immediately: contact@cherricopottery.com

Certain Cherrico Pottery “Cosmic Mug” products are imported, factory-made vessels that come from a factory in Shenzhen, China, that Joel developed a relationship with. All Chinese made pottery is labeled signifying that it is “Made in China.” All of our pottery sourced from China complies US FDA with “Ceramic Tableware From China” standards, the “Memorandum of Understanding” between the US and China, and Pottery (Ceramics) US Food and Drug Administration standards. Cherrico Pottery, even designed and made overseas, contains no lead or cadmium. 

Cherrico Pottery was tested by the Minnesota Stearns County Regional Health Inspector for daily use at the Local Blend coffee shop in St. Joseph, Minnesota. The inspector tested for lead and cadmium in 2010 and determined that Cherrico Pottery contains no lead or cadmium. 

Cherrico Pottery also conducts independent testing about once annually, and especially when any new Chinese pottery is imported. We test all glaze recipes and products for lead, to guarantee none contain lead.

Attention California Residents

As a retailer selling or distributing products in the State of California, Cherrico Pottery must comply with the California law known as Proposition 65, which requires that products containing certain chemicals be labeled to notify consumers of the presence of such chemicals. The specific chemical I am referring to is Cobalt.

Food and drink use with Cherrico Pottery products containing Cobalt is not hazardous.

March 19, 2019 the Office of Environmental Health and Hazard, from the California Government, published extensive research here on Cobalt as a carcinogen when inhaled, that you can read here: Cobalt and Cobalt Compounds Cancer Inhalation Unit Risk Factors

Page 2 of this study says, “The IURs and cancer slope factors are intended for use in the evaluation of cancer risk due to the inhalation of cobalt and cobalt compounds. They are not intended to be used for the evaluation of cancer risk due to cobalt and cobalt compound exposure by the oral route.” Keep reading here: https://oehha.ca.gov/media/downloads/crnr/cobaltiurdraft030819.pdf

How Cherrico Pottery Uses Cobalt Safely

100% of Cobalt used at Cherrico Pottery is mixed with silica and feldspar, and then kiln fired to a minimum of 2280 degrees Fahrenheit. This process permanently binds the cobalt in food-safe glaze. This eliminates inhalation risk. NOTE* if you misuse or break your pottery, then we cannot guarantee safety. Dispose of broken pottery in the garbage. Please view our Terms and Conditions page here to learn more.

Out of more than 10 different raw earth elements used to create Cherrico Pottery, Cobalt is used least. This is because: 

  1. Only small amounts of cobalt are necessary for blue colors. 
  2. High exposure to Cobalt raw material can be toxic to potter Joel Cherrico, since he is using cobalt before is is fired, bound in silica.
  3. Cobalt is a rare earth element, and therefore the most expensive raw glaze material we buy.

For example, shown below the exact glaze recipe for the black, base glazed used commonly for our Handmade Cosmic Mugs sold here. The recipe below is also used in even smaller, thinner applications for our “Nuka Cobalt” pottery sold here. Joel Cherrico mixes the glaze from these exact raw materials, purchased from Continental Clay in Minneapolis:

47.4% Custer Feldspar
17% Silica/Flint
13.6% Calcium Carbonate/Whiting (High Purity)
8.1% Spanish Red Iron Oxide
8% Edgar Plastic Kaolin (Porcelain)
3.4% Bentonite Clay
2.5% Cobalt Oxide

Total glaze recipe: 100%, mixed with water, then fired to 2280 degrees Fahrenheit to create durable, food safe pottery surfaces.