While tea bags and spice pouches meet legal standards with regard to leaching of chemicals, it perhaps time to change the regulations relating to food packaging, the Consumer Protection Commission (消費者保護委員會) claimed yesterday, the Taipei Times reports today (full article here).
The semi-independent central-government agency tested 30 items, all of which accorded with the “Sanitation Standards for Food and Utensil Packaging.” Nevertheless, the CPC suggested that worries remained, partly because 22 items used plastic packaging and only 8 used paper, but more so because the standards do not reflect Taiwanese cooking habits. Current legislation for plastic packaging stipulates cooking times of 30 minutes at 95℃ or 60 minutes at 25℃. Many Taiwanese dishes are cooked for hours, however, the Commission noted.
A further concern related to the tags attached to tea bags and spice pouches, which are not counted as part of the packaging. Tests for these tags showed levels of potassium permanganate that exceeded the limits stipulated by the legal standards. Users should make sure to avoid dipping the tags in water when drinking coffee and tea, the CPC warned.