20 February 2019
Probers who went to the factory of Po Yuen Lard Company in Yuen Long found the premises locked. Photo: RTHK
Probers who went to the factory of Po Yuen Lard Company in Yuen Long found the premises locked. Photo: RTHK

Two HK firms probed on ‘gutter oil’ scandal

Hong Kong food safety authorities have launched an investigation into two local companies on their links to the Taiwanese company involved in the “gutter oil” scandal, RTHK reported on Wednesday.

The Center for Food Safety confirmed on Tuesday that Globalway, a Hong Kong trading firm, has exported lard oil to Taiwanese firm Chang Guann, a Taiwanese edible oil supplier found to have used recycled oil in making its products.

Globalway has bought the lard oil from the Yuen Long-based Po Yuen Lard Company. The firm specializes in producing lard oil, lard and poultry oil, which are mainly exported to mainland China and Taiwan, the report said.

Hong Kong authorities are investigating whether Po Yuen Lard Company is only licensed to produce oil for industrial use, whether its products are shipped to Taiwan, and whether any of its products are sold in the city as well.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has sent three officers to its registered address in Yuen Long Wednesday noon, but they found nobody at the scene. And a small room was locked.

In addition, authorities will conduct a thorough inspection of the oil the company produces, mainly targeting heavy metal and elements that are linked with cancer. However, as there are no international standards or criteria regarding the content of gutter oil, authorities may need to draft a new law, the report said.

Claudia Mo, a member of the Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene panel of the Legislative Council, urged the government to tighten scrutiny of oil products, saying the mixed information regarding the gutter oil scandal is adding to the confusion.

“Oil trading is business, but food safety will affect human health, therefore, the government should review whether the law and regulations are sufficient, such as tracking the trading documents,” Mo was quoted as saying.

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