Food Safety and Metropolitan Tea

For nearly 30 years Metropolitan Tea has taken extreme care to ensure that all of our products, no matter what the origin, are safe for consumption. Under no circumstances would we sacrifice the health of our customers for profits.

How can you be sure our products are safe?

Our teas come from China, India, Sri Lanka Japan, and numerous other countries in Africa, South Asia and South America. In every case, all products conform to the rigorous standards of the following agencies.

  • USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration)
  • CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
  • EFSA (European Food Standards Authority)

Note: Although we’d like to be your only tea supplier, we recognize that we can’t be everything to everyone. That said, we encourage you to ask your other suppliers about their steps toward improved food safety. Together, we can ensure the continued growth of a safe and robust tea industry.

Annual grower visits ensure compliance.

Annual visits to growers on all continents are essential to ensure that acceptable standards of manufacturing safety are adhered to. This has been our policy for 30 years. With all the recent press about breakdowns in overseas food supply chains, our policy has never been more important. If a visit to a grower raises questions regarding food safety, and these questions can’t be answered properly or compliance assured, that grower will be dropped from our supplier list.
If a tea doesn’t meet our standards, we won’t pack it.

Each and every lot of tea received in our warehouse and packed for our customers is tasted and tested a minimum of 5 times. These tastings ensure that all tea is free from contaminants or taints from any non-tea input. The same policy extends to our herbal products.

Safe Stainless Steel Tea Accessories
Metropolitan uses 18/8 grade stainless steel exclusively in all metal products – infusers, strainers, teapots, etc. Like our teas, this grade has been approved safe for associated food use by:

  • USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration)
  • CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
  • EFSA (European Food Standards Authority)

Strenuous testing
Unlike many lower grade stainless products, typically, but not limited to those found in dollar stores, 18/8 grade will not corrode when exposed to the Tannins found in loose tea.

A secure product supply chain
From time to time we’re solicited by external suppliers. In many of these cases, we could save considerably by purchasing a competitor’s products. Unfortunately, many competing stainless products, even those that look exactly like products we carry, are not 18/8 and will corrode when exposed to hot tea. This may mean that dangerously high levels of nickel, chromium or aluminum could leach into your tea. Under no circumstances will we carry a potentially hazardous product to increase profit margins.

Like our teas, annual visits to approved suppliers helps ensure that acceptable manufacturing processes are being followed.

Note: If you carry stainless tea accessories from suppliers other than Metropolitan, we urge you to verify that they are made with USFDA, CFIA or EFSA approved 18/8 grade.

Lead-free Teapots
Metropolitan Tea takes great care to ensure that our teapots, cups and associated porcelain products are glazed in 100% lead free glaze*. Since 1995 we’ve bought our teapots from only one trusted supplier. This means we pay more, but we know that our products are safe.

All teapots are fired at 1275°F, a temperature that stabilizes the glaze. However, if the glaze on your teapots chips and you are concerned about contamination, we recommend discontinuing use of the teapot.

Bright red glaze contains lead. It is for this reason that our bright red teapots are glazed on the inside with a lead-free white glaze. At no time will tea come in contact with the leaded paint.

HACCP Certification
As a further commitment to continued food safety, we’ve recently become HACCP certified.

What is HACCP? (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)

HACCP is a program designed to assist in analyzing the food product cycle from the raw ingredient stage to the finished product. Metropolitan Tea underwent a rigorous 2-year process to obtain HACCP certification and is audited annually to ensure all processes and documentation are maintained.

If you have further questions regarding the safety of any of our products, please contact one of our representatives.

Safe tea tastes better

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