China vows to stop restaurant reuse of cooking oil
By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Writer Alexa Olesen, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jul 20, 9:36 am ET
BEIJING – Chinese call it "gutter oil" — a foul slop fished up from sewage drains or collected at restaurant back doors — and it's being used widely in the country's eateries.
Recycled food oil is China's latest food-safety scandal that has worried consumers and brought fresh promises of government action.
China's Cabinet, the State Council, issued an order Monday that said the black-market trade posed "serious potential food safety risks." It vowed to crack down on "refined restaurant waste finding its way back to dinner tables through illegal channels."
Qin Xiong, a former chef who owns a small Sichuan-style restaurant in western Beijing, denies being involved in the trade but says he has seen barrels of food waste and oil being carted out of big restaurants and hotels in the capital nightly.
"The waste is usually held in filthy round metal barrels, each containing about 25 kilograms (55 pounds)," Qin said. The peddlers who collect it take it away on bicycle carts and are usually paid several hundred yuan (tens of dollars) a month for the service, he said. They filter the waste into slop for pigs and oil that is resold, Qin said.
While the government order did not specify a health risk, state media and industry experts said the recycled oil could have carcinogens and traces of aflatoxin, a potentially deadly mold.
"There's only a slim chance that you will be poisoned immediately afterwards if you eat this 'gutter oil,'" said Zheng Fengtian, a food safety expert at Renmin University in Beijing. "The biggest problem is that after eating this overcooked oil, people could — though some don't — develop cancer in 10 or 20 years."
So far, it's believed to be a purely domestic problem. China consumes more food oil than it can produce and imports the rest, so the recycled oil is unlikely to make its way overseas.
Media outrage over "gutter oil" compounds Chinese consumers' growing anger over Beijing's inability to police the food supply.
Read the whole article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100720/ap_ ... gutter_oil
Another article on recycled cooking oil:
In the Tank, Not on the Table
The end of 'gutter oil' and the future of the bio-diesel industry hinge on better regulation of kitchen waste disposal
By LI LI UPDATED: November 14, 2011 NO. 46 NOVEMBER 17, 2011
http://www.bjreview.com.cn/nation/txt/2 ... 405509.htm
Latest China food safety scandal widens to oil
AFPAFP – Thu, Dec 29, 2011
Chinese authorities have recalled cooking oil products made by three companies after finding they contained the same type of cancer-causing toxin recently found in milk, state media said Thursday.
A product safety watchdog in the southern province of Guangdong suspended operations at plants owned by the firms, which made oil containing excessive levels of aflatoxin, caused by mould, the Xinhua news agency said.
The incident comes after leading dairy firm Mengniu revealed at the weekend that authorities found high levels of aflatoxin in a batch of milk before it was sold, caused by cows eating mouldy feed at a farm in southwest China.
Aflatoxins, which affect grains and other agricultural products, can increase the risk of cancer, including liver cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.
The oil was made from peanuts, Xinhua said, naming the producers as Fusheng Oil, Manyi Peanut Oil and Mabao Oil.
It was not known if any of the tainted oil had reached consumers, it added.
Read the whole article: http://news.yahoo.com/latest-china-food ... 59821.html