The Taipei City Department of Health yesterday said it would work with the central government to instruct manufacturers to add safety and usage instructions to glassware following a growing number of accidents involving glassware exploding in microwave ovens.
Citing consumer reports from the US, Japan and Taiwan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Angela Ying (應曉薇) said the number of cases where tempered glass food containers had exploded during heating in microwaves or ovens was increasing because of a lack of safety and usage information.
This requires clear instruction or warnings on glassware, she said.
“Many consumers have replaced plastic containers with glassware, thinking it would be safer to use glassware in the microwave or oven. What they don’t know is that glasswares can break at high temperatures,” she told the Taipei City Council.
The US Consumer Reports Magazine said there had been 145 explosions involving glass containers in microwave ovens between 2010 and last year in the US.
Sheng Mei-li (沈美麗), a division chief at the department, said the Department of Health last year demanded that manufacturers include information on product material and temperature tolerance on all plastic containers. However, the government did not establish any regulations for glassware products.
She said that about 50 percent of glass containers in Taiwan were made using tempered glass, while the other 50 percent were made from glass with a high temperature tolerance.
Microwavable glassware should have a temperature tolerance of 400°C.
The city’s department will discuss the issue with the central government and suggest that all glassware should include information on product materials and temperature tolerance, she added.