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Measures helping keep swill oil away from kitchens

THE illegal and dangerous reuse of swill oil in kitchens in the city is being checked by one measure already implemented and one about to begin.

Intensified campaigns to keep waste oil from being used in food preparation led to a 63 percent increase in the amount of waste oil properly treated last year. Also, a new city law expected to include heavy fines on those who illegally collect and process swill oil will take effect in March, officials said yesterday.

The draft law, posted online for public comment in September, stipulates that those who illegally collect and process swill oil will face fines of up to 100,000 yuan (US$16,129). Also, restaurants that sell used oil to illegal collectors will face fines of up to 50,000 yuan.

The law aims to stop the reuse of swill oil as edible oil at its source.

"The process of collecting swill oil has been standardized, and the capacity of companies that treat waste oil has been improved," said Yan Zuqiang, director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office.

The city treated 23,000 tons of waste oil in 2012, an increase of 63 percent from a year earlier. Yan said authorities are studying awards for companies that properly dispose of large amounts of swill oil, install waste oil storage facilities and separate swill oil from other kitchen waste.

The use of swill oil for production of fuel and industrial oil is now being tested.

Food safety officials also said yesterday that last year, 94 percent of food products inspected by authorities passed checks. Also, the incidence of multiple food poisoning cases was 0.63 per 100,000 people, the lowest ever for the city, officials said.

A total of 17,045 licenses of food-related businesses were revoked last year, up 138 percent. Some 215 people were caught for food-related crimes and 5,401 factories or stores without licenses were shut down.

"Using banned food additives or excessive additives will be the priority for crackdowns this year," Yan said.

An online system that would blacklist companies involved in illegal conduct regarding food safety will be launched this year, and it may be made available at, China's the biggest restaurant review website, officials said.

Last year, some 168 residents received rewards for reporting food-related irregularities and one resident received 200,000 yuan, the highest reward, for reporting fake health products.


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