Anchor Hocking is extremely proud that its products have been a safe and reliable part of American kitchens for generations. Recent internet reports and stories about Anchor Hocking have proven to contain demonstrably false and misleading information. Consumers deserve accurate information and should not be misled or unnecessarily alarmed. Anchor Hocking wants to assure its consumers that they can rely on the safety of its products when they are used according to Anchor’s Care and Use Instructions.
To assist consumers with learning the truth about Anchor Hocking products, Anchor Hocking provides the following answers to some frequently asked questions:
- IS ANCHOR HOCKING BAKEWARE SAFE?
- WHY DID MY ANCHOR HOCKING BAKEWARE SHATTER?
- IS BOROSILICATE BAKEWARE SAFER THAN TEMPERED SODA-LIME-SILICATE BAKEWARE?
- WHAT WOULD CAUSE MY ANCHOR HOCKING BAKEWARE TO BREAK?
- IS ANCHOR HOCKING BAKEWARE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
- WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A CONCERN ABOUT MY ANCHOR HOCKING PRODUCT?
Absolutely, Anchor Hocking bakeware is safe. Anchor Hocking is proud that its products have been a safe and reliable part of American kitchens for generations. With annual production of glass bakeware in excess of 30 million pieces, Anchor Hocking has a failure rate of less than two-thousandths of one percent (0.002%) when taking all consumer concerns of any kind into consideration. Anchor Hocking has never had any of its products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”). Specifically, Anchor Hocking’s tempered soda-lime-silicate glass bakeware has been in the marketplace for nearly 40 years with an excellent safety and customer satisfaction record.
Moreover, even with the obvious and known limitation that glass can break, the number of injuries associated with the use of glass bakeware is remarkably small. Approximately 700 million pieces of U.S.-manufactured tempered soda-lime-silicate glass bakeware has been sold in the US in the last 10 years. Each piece of bakeware is used multiple times per year, yet the National Electronic Injury Surveillance Survey (NEISS), which is used by product safety experts to assess the risk of consumer products, shows that there are minimal unsubstantiated claims of injuries resulting from glass bakeware unexpectedly breaking or shattering. Without doubt, Anchor Hocking’s glass bakeware is an extraordinarily safe product when used in accordance with safety and usage instructions.
Today, all U.S. manufactured glass bakeware, regardless of manufacturer, is made from tempered soda-lime-silicate glass. Tempered or heat-strengthened bakeware is designed to strengthen the glass to be more durable and stronger than other glass products. A similar, although not identical tempering process is used for other glass products where safety is also important, such as automobile windows, sliding glass doors, and shower doors. As a result of this tempering process, when Anchor Hocking tempered bakeware breaks, similar to other tempered safety glass products, it breaks into a number of pieces, most relatively small (some may be larger). Unlike non-tempered glass products, these pieces generally lack sharp edges when it does break, resulting in a lower likelihood of severe cuts from the broken glass. But when a product fails, it releases a small amount of energy, which can result in a loud sound and the glass can travel outward.
The tempering process is essential in making Anchor Hocking glass as strong and safe as possible. Damage to the glass can occur from improperly scouring with abrasives, use of sharp utensils, impact with other hard objects, and severe temperature changes. Mechanical breakage caused by an impact is the most frequent cause of failure. Accordingly, the soda-lime-silicate glass is stronger than other glass against impacts such as being hit against something or being dropped. Likewise, having the bakeware break in a safer manner by breaking into pieces generally lacking sharp edges and shards is a priority. Finally, Anchor Hocking’s bakeware is as strong as other types of glass bakeware against stresses such as temperature changes. Tempering or heat strengthening soda-lime-silicate glass achieves all these goals better than other glass processes.
Therefore, while Anchor Hocking bakeware’s shattering may catch a consumer off-guard, it is actually an indication that your bakeware was carefully manufactured with durability and your safety in mind.
Today, all U.S.-manufactured glass bakeware regardless of manufacturer is tempered soda-lime-silicate. Anchor Hocking has been manufacturing tempered soda-lime-silicate bakeware for nearly 40 years. Prior to that time, most glass bakeware was annealed borosilicate.
Recent accusations have mistakenly claimed that borosilicate is a better material for glass bakeware. Tempered soda-lime-silicate is stronger and more durable, breaks into relatively small pieces (some may be larger) generally lacking sharp edges and shards when it does break, and is a more environmentally friendly product. Anchor Hocking’s thermally-strengthened soda-lime-silicate glass bakeware is fully suitable and safe for oven use. It is thermally treated or tempered to more than double the mechanical strength of annealed borosilicate. Anchor Hocking’s tempered soda-lime-silicate has equal to or greater thermal shock resistance than annealed borosilicate glass bakeware. Tempered soda-lime-silicate has resulted in significantly fewer failures and, most importantly, fewer severe injuries than annealed borosilicate over decades of use. Indeed, reports of glass bakeware breakage filed with the CPSC markedly declined after the change from borosilicate glass to tempered soda-lime-silicate glass.
Annealed borosilicate is substantially weaker against mechanical breakage caused by dropping, striking against hard objects, and use of sharp utensils. Further, when borosilicate glass breaks, it breaks into larger, heavier pieces of very sharp glass creating a significant risk of severe cuts, punctures, etc. Significantly, Anchor Hocking experienced a greater than 90% reduction in its replacement rate due to breakage during the first 10 years of tempered soda-lime-silicate production.
Another potential failure mode of glass bakeware is thermal shock which results from a significant and sudden temperature change. Consistent scientific testing for decades has established that tempered soda-lime-silicate bakeware is at least equal to or better than annealed borosilicate products in thermal shock resistance. In fact, when the decision was made to change from borosilicate to tempered soda-lime-silicate, nearly 40 years ago, Anchor Hocking’s testing demonstrated a 40% improvement in thermal shock resistance for its tempered soda-lime-silicate glass.
Manufacturers of glass bakeware, including Anchor Hocking, have studied and evaluated the safety of glass bakeware while considering the rigors of cooking. Mechanical breakage (i.e., dropping or impact with other hard objects) is the most frequent failure mode and can result in the most severe types of injuries. Accordingly, making the bakeware stronger and more durable against mechanical breakage is a priority. Further, having the bakeware break in a safer manner by breaking into relatively small pieces (some may be larger) generally lacking sharp edges and shards is a priority. Tempered soda-lime-silicate glass best achieves both of these goals.
Glass bakeware is not without limitations. While it is a healthier alternative to metal bakeware because no hazardous materials leach into your food and cooks often prefer it because it helps retain moisture and cooks more evenly; like all glass, it can break. Anchor Hocking bakeware is safe when its care and use instructions are followed. Regardless of the safety measures taken by Anchor Hocking to strengthen and ensure the quality of its products, misuse can lead to failure of the bakeware.
It has been Anchor Hocking’s experience that the vast majority of failures are due to mishandling or improper care of the product. It is important to note that the misuse often happens over time and the actual failure may occur at a later date. A few examples (but not an exhaustive list) of this type of mishandling are:
- Scouring or improperly cleaning the bakeware.
- Causing severe thermal shock by adding liquid to a hot dish, placing a hot dish into dishwater,
or placing a hot dish directly on a countertop rather than using pot holders, pad or trivet.
- Discarding chipped, cracked, or noticeably scratched bakeware products.
- Hard hits or impacts occuring during usage, washing or storing.
- Cooking at a higher temperature than 425 degrees F.
- Using on a stove top, broiler or toaster oven.
- Placing bakeware on a recently used or still warm stovetop burner.
Properly caring for and using your Anchor Hocking bakeware is a critical step in maintaining its integrity and safety. The complete Care and Use Instructions are found here at ANCHOR HOCKING CARE AND USE. Anchor Hocking’s bakeware must be properly cared for and used according to instructions for it to perform as excepted.
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Forty years ago when Anchor Hocking changed its production of glass bakeware from annealed borosilicate to tempered soda-lime-silicate, it was looking to make a safer and more durable product. Anchor Hocking also considered the fact that there is a significant positive environmental impact by changing the manufacturing process from annealed borosilicate to tempered soda-lime-silicate. Accordingly, Anchor Hocking was looking for ways to be a good steward of the environment by changing its production of glass bakeware to tempered soda-lime-silicate even before “going green” was fashionable.
Anchor Hocking's Consumer Affairs Department is available to consumers by telephone, email and regular mail. Experienced and long-term employees speak personally with consumers to resolve any issues they may have. Contact information for the Consumer Affairs Department:
519 Pierce Avenue
Lancaster, OH 43130
In addition, if you have a broken Anchor Hocking product, please be sure to keep all pieces of the product. Anchor Hocking welcomes the opportunity to examine the product to determine the cause of any product failure and to address any customer concerns.
Anchor Hocking takes great pride in its products. Anchor appreciates this opportunity to clarify misinformation about the safety of glass bakeware products that has been in the media recently.