Question: Is a hardware store propane torch safe to use on food? What do health inspectors think of kitchens that use them?
Problem: I have wanted a kitchen torch for years. After innumerable recommendations from pros and hobbyists alike, I put a hardware torch (Berzomatic) on my Christmas list. Surprise, I got one! A nice Berzomatic Propane (not MAPP!) with a brass nozzle.
Surprise! "This product may cause cancer in the State of California." (paraphrase). Also, "This product may cause birth defects."
Uhoh. I have a pregnant wife, who read the back of my new torch, and promptly told me I have to return it and cannot use it because it'll kill or seriously deform the baby, her, me, and anyone else that eats my food.
Theory? My theory is that I'm not sticking the brass torch (which may contain lead) into the food, in fact it's not even in direct line of the flame, all it does is focus and mix the gas. Plus, the temperature the torch metal gets to isn't high enough to melt it. And anything that burns causes cancer in California, because combustion causes cancer.
So? What does everything think? Anyone actually address this question?