The Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday demanded that the 85ºC Bakery Cafe recall the “SpongeBob SquarePants chopsticks” it sold between Dec. 18 and Jan. 20, as they were found to contain excessive levels of lead.
FDA official Cheng Wei-chih (鄭維智) said laws regulate that plastic products must not contain lead exceeding 100 parts per million (PPM).
The chopsticks sold by 85ºC were found to contain 805ppm.
In addition to recalling approximately 30,000 pairs of chopsticks sold by 85ºC, the same recall demand has been handed down to the manufacturer of the chopsticks, Ho Cheng, which sold another 3,600 pairs of the same products on its own, Cheng said.
Five kilograms of material used in making the chopsticks was also confiscated from the manufacturer’s factory in Tainan City yesterday, Cheng said, adding that the material will undergo further analysis.
The issue came to public attention after an 85ºC customer, identified by her last name Shih (石), was quoted by local media as saying that she bought a pair of the chopsticks from an 85ºC branch last December, and out of curiousity, she sent the chopsticks to a laboratory for analysis, learning that the product had excessive lead content.
Both 85ºC and Ho Cheng yesterday publicized recall announcements, saying that customers who bought the chopsticks could have their money refunded.
For more information on the recall, people can contact 85ºC at the toll free telephone number 0800-611-588, or Ho Cheng at (06) 2564-100.