I've been assembling a propane barbeque grill that came in a box. It came with an exact variety and number of screws to be used in assembly. But it's actually missing one screw.

I found an old screw in my box of miscellaneous metal leftover things. It's the right size and shape.

But I'm concerned about using an unintended screw because it might be a different material. Could it possibly be unsafe or unreliable around smoke, heat, propane, ash etc.?

Could it have collected or developed unsafe material/compounds after many years of sitting around?

  • 1
    Where on the grill is this screw going? Is it in the hot part somewhere? If so, it might be a concern. If it's just holding the base together, I wouldn't worry about it at all.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 19 '21 at 12:10

Yes some metals are not safe for use with food and heat can make the issue worse. Cadmium comes to mind as it is a byproduct of zinc and when getting inspections on food lockers this is one of the metals they check for (many screws that are galvanized contain cadmium) cadmium is a heavy metal and ends up in our blood like lead this is why lead free brass and solder are a big deal in our water systems. Would I be concerned about 1 screw I can’t say but there are metals that should not be used according to the FDA.

  • 3
    I would be only mildly concerned about a single galvanized screw giving off enough cadmium to be toxic, but an entire grill assembly using them would be a concern for sure, hence the FDA warnings. The problem with a galvanized screw will be that the coating will burn off eventually, allowing the steel to be exposed to corrosive elements. So to be safe on both counts, I would take that screw to a hardware store as an example and buy a stainless steel version.
    – JRaef
    Apr 20 '20 at 17:55

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