Two out of 10 barbecue trays failed coating quality tests, while nine of them had labeling problems, the Executive Yuan’s Department of Consumer Protection said on Saturday, warning consumers to be cautious when buying barbecuing equipment ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Thursday.
Last month and this month the department bought 10 brands of metal barbecue trays from online and brick-and-mortar stores for testing, it said.
Five non-coated trays passed the tests without copper or antimony detected, but two of the coated trays failed the dissolution tests of 4 percent acetic acid and residues after evaporation, it said.
The two trays’ dissolved matter reached 114 parts per million (ppm) and 35ppm, higher than the maximum allowable level of 30ppm, and contained some substances that might enter food, it said.
The coating is made of fluorocarbons, and more than 30ppm residues after evaporation might damage human health, department official Wang Te-ming (王德明) said.
While the department has not yet identified the components of the dissolved matters, it has recalled the two trays for contravening the Sanitation Standards for Food Utensils, Containers and Packages (食品器具容器包裝衛生標準), Wang said.
Nine of the trays did not meet product labeling standards, with four not providing information about the manufacturers or commissioners, manufacturing dates or other cautionary notes, while five did not state their temperature resistance levels or the coating materials.
The suppliers have been told to improve their labeling, the department said.
Consumers should use barbecuing equipment properly, including temperature guidelines and cleaning recommendations, the department said
People should not use damaged plates, which might release toxins, and should keep children away from barbecue facilities, it added.
In other Mid-Autumn Festival news, Yilan Prison said mooncakes made by inmates as part of the Corrections Department’s bakery trade development program have earned more than NT$1 million (US$34,158).
The value of the mooncakes is not just in their sales figures, but in the affirmation it brings the inmates, prison warden Huang Chien-yu (黃建裕) said earlier this month.
“The success of the product gives the inmates confidence and makes them look forward to re-entering society,” he said.
The prison regularly sells baked goods, but its mooncakes receive the highest number of orders, he said.
Working in the prison bakery helps inmates learn valuable skills, Corrections Department official Chang Chiao-ming (張喬銘) said.
The department works with private-sector professionals to help teach inmates nationwide a variety of trades, including training classes for baking, for caretakers, for the repair and transport of solar panels and for cellphone repair, he said.
A total of 414 classes have been held so far at prisons, attended by 10,251 inmates, including 64 baking classes, which were attended by 952 inmates, he said.
Prisons around the nation are all producing mooncakes in different flavors and styles, with Yilan making layered mooncakes, the Taipei Detention Center doing a crispy, thin-crust mooncake, the Penghu Prison doing a coffee-flavored mooncake and the Taoyuan Women’s Prison doing a crunchy mooncake that contains nuts, Chang said.
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