24 March 2019
Some eateries in China are known to use waste oil to cut down on costs. Photo: Bloomberg
Some eateries in China are known to use waste oil to cut down on costs. Photo: Bloomberg

China vows clampdown on ‘gutter oil’ in food safety drive

China has pledged to wipe out the scourge of the so-called gutter oil by stepping up efforts to recycle and detoxify food waste, a statement released Tuesday showed. 

Targeting the food waste can break the original source of the gutter oil in the illegal chain, the State Council said in a statement on the work arrangements for food safety this year.

Authorities will crack down on illegal purchase, transport and processing of used cooking oil, and the unlawful acts of using animals’ internal organs or industrial chemicals to make poor quality cooking oil, it added.

Officials will also step up inspections on imported cooking oils to prevent those that do not meet the required standards from entering the market.

The move comes amid mounting concerns over the use of waste oil in several eateries in the country. Seeking to make a fast buck, unscrupulous people extract waste oil from sewers, grease traps, and waste from slaughterhouses, to reprocess it and sell it as cooking oil. Thus the name: ‘gutter oil’. 

In other initiatives, authorities said they will strengthen quality control on infant formulas by enhancing inspections and transport supervision.

Inspection results of the infant formula will be released immediately. Baby milk producers will be strictly prohibited from using the same formula to produce milk for different brands.

Key areas on the food safety agenda also include agricultural products, poultry products, food safety in villages, and children’s food, among other things.

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EJ Insight reporter

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