Safety hazard warning on air fryers

The Consumer Council warned that half of the 12 air fryer models it tested posed potential safety hazards, despite the kitchen appliance becoming increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy and easy cooking method.

French fries cooked by half of the air fryers were found to contain a cancerous substance that exceeds EU standards, the watchdog said.

The price range of the air fryers tested was between HK$298 and HK$2,080. Despite the sixfold difference in their price tag, the council found their overall performances to be “relatively even,” with an overall rating of 3.5 to 4.5 points out of 5.

Six of the air fryers tested posed potential hazards, including excessive temperature rise in some parts, insufficient insulation distance and inadequate earthing terminals.

The council found that the maximum surface temperature rise of the handles of German Pool’s CKF-215 model and ecHome’s AF1400BK model slightly exceeded the temperature limit of 60K, at 65K and 64K respectively.

The council warned that touching the handles of those two models for prolonged periods may increase the risk of burns.

The temperature increase of the internal wire of Harrow’s HT-AF1200’s model was found to exceed the standard limit and might pose a safety risk to the user.

Harrow’s air fryer was also found to have insufficient insulation distance between the device’s electric poles of live parts and the surface accessible by the user.

The same problem was found in Proluxury’s PAF052017 model and Midea’s MF20B model.

These three models, which had a measured distance falling 1 to 2.5 mm short of the standard requirement, may short circuit.

Safety issues were also found in Philips’ HD9743/11 air fryer, as the earthing terminal had inadequate protection.

Aside from testing the safety, the council found that all fries cooked in air fryers contained acrylamide, a chemical classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Half of them contained acrylamide above the EU benchmark level of 500 mg/kg.

“Don’t always cook food in air fryers for the sake of convenience. Eating too much fried food is not beneficial to a person’s health,” warned the chief executive of Consumer Council, Gilly Wong Fung-han.

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