Fourteen more Taipei City eating establishments failed acid value tests on their edible oil, data released yesterday by the city’s Department of Health showed.
Taobanwang (陶板王) on Roosevelt Rd, Sec. 3, had the worst readings, with an acid value of 9.5. The standard is 2.
“We have seen 5.7 in the past, which was the worst. But this time I was really surprised to see a reading of 9.5,” said Lin Chin-fu (林金富), director of the department’s food and drug division.
The department said four of the tested restaurants sold fried chicken, four sold lunch boxes, one sold tempura, one was a cheese potato shop, one a bubble tea shop, one a Japanese restaurant, one a Thai restaurant and one a Cantonese restaurant.
Department inspectors raided a total of 581 restaurants and collected oil samples from 38.
Taobanwang closed its doors after the department made the results public yesterday.
Lin said Taobanwang sells Japanese-style lunch boxes. When inspectors arrived, its cooks were busy frying tempura. Employees told the inspectors that they changed the oil every two days, but the inspectors did not believe them.
“The tempura looked dark, almost black. It should not be like this if the oil was fresh,” Lin said.
The inspectors asked the restaurants that failed the test to replace their oil immediately, Lin said. Inspectors will make unscheduled return visits to these restaurants for a second test in the near future.
“If they fail a second time, we will be looking to fine them between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000,” he said.
The tests determine whether the cooking oil’s composition has changed because of repeated use. The issue became a public health matter after a report in a Chinese-language newspaper weeks ago said some restaurants only changed their oil once a week.
Repeated use of the oil is believed to release carcinogenic substances, posing a health hazard to consumers.