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City checks waste oil filters before wide introduction

FOOD safety inspectors are now examining the quality and status of oil-filter machines used by some 500 Shanghai restaurants in an appraisal before introducing the machines to more restaurants to eliminate loopholes in swill oil trade.

Shanghai Food Safety Office said today that oil-filter machines will be made mandatory for all of the city's 60,000 or so licensed eateries before end of this year. The check on machines in usage will suggest necessary adjustment or upgrade in design before mass production.

The machines are designed to separate water from kitchen waste. Filtered oil is collected by licensed companies for industrial reuse.

The officials said the city government is ready to introduce another recycling company into the market. Currently, local companies are able to process only 68 tons of swill oil collected from restaurants. Their treatment capacity seems inadequate on the long run.

Without the oil filters, restaurants tend to pour their waste oil into the sewer or sell it to unlicensed collectors.

Chinese police announced this week that they destroyed a major underground network that made food oil with rotten animal organs, skin and meat. Police seized more than 3,200 tons of oil in village mills in Zhejiang Province and arrested more than 100 suspects in the raid.

Their oil had been sold to wholesalers in several cities and provinces including Shanghai, police said.


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