Department of Health responds to viral photo showing a possibly faulty connection at a Bangkok BBQ restaurant
Public Health Ministry’s Department of Health has warned restaurants that using LPG cooking gas to heat the grills or stoves on tables, could be in breach of local regulations and are posing a danger to customers.
The warning came on the heels of the widely circulated photos of a barbecue restaurant in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao area which apparently set up a makeshift system to feed liquid petroleum gas (LPG) right to the grills on customers’ tables to allow them to barbecue their own food.
Department director-general Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn warned that the makeshift system had some parts that appeared to be in a rather dangerous condition and that there was no apparent equipment to ensure customers’ safety. This violated the ministerial regulation on food restaurant sanitation B.E 2561 (2018) and the local administrative body’s rule such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)’s regulation for food-vending and storing premises B.E 2545 (2002).
She said the ministerial regulation, which has been in effect since December 16, 2018, banned restaurants from using cooking gas to fuel stoves on customers’ tables or face a maximum fine of Bt50,000 while the BMA regulation also prohibited the use of cooking gas to fuel cooking at customers’ tables with a maximum Bt25,000 fine.
She urged members of the public who saw any restaurant using cooking gas at the table to alert the district or municipality office. She also suggested that diners choose good standard restaurants with the department’s endorsement sticker “Clean Food Good Taste” to ensure food safety.
Many people shared the photos, saying that this “unsafe” practice should be against the law as it could cause an explosion and injuries. That concern is not without precedent as many no doubt remember an incident at another Bangkok pork barbecue shop on April 16, 2019 that left two customers injured when the canister of gas powering the grill on their table suddenly exploded. The accident was reportedly blamed on substandard gas refilling.