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January 7, 2012

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Swill oil found in no city restaurants

NOT a single restaurant in Shanghai has been caught using "swill oil" - illegally recycled oil scooped from drains, food safety watchdogs said yesterday.

However, the Shanghai Food Safety Office admitted that the quantity of used cooking oil legally collected from food outlets and recycled for industrial use was lower than the quantity produced.

This suggests oil is being poured down drains, the basis of the swill oil trade.

"Tackling swill oil is a key task, and also a big concern for residents," Yan Zuqiang, director of Shanghai Food Safety Office said yesterday.

Yan said the authorities had several initiatives to regulate used oil in the food industry.

To encourage recycling, the government is to pay businesses for used cooking oil. At present, a company must pay to have the oil taken away.

"The price is under discussion. We may give them cash or new oil," said Yan.

Restaurants are required to separate used oil from other kitchen waste to prevent it being poured away, while special containers and vehicles with global positioning system for transportation will also be introduced, said Yan.

Yan promised a clampdown on eateries caught selling used oil to illegal dealers to be reprocessed for cooking.

Shanghai dealt with 8,037 food safety cases last year, reported officials.


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