Beijing moves to root out "gutter oil"

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The city of Beijing will build specialized facilities across its 16 districts and counties designed to purchase, transport and handle waste oil and fat, in a bid to prevent such waste from flowing back onto people's dinner tables again as illegal edible oil.

Illegal oil processed from the waste materials will be collected by the facilities and sent to special plants to be disposed of collectively, reports, citing the municipal bureau of agriculture.

Illegal cooking oil includes oil refined from low-quality pork and animal offal, oil overused for fried food, and even gutter oil, or illegally recycled cooking oil, which is often scooped up from sewage drains and gutters behind cooking establishments and then sold to small restaurants, the China Daily reports.

Chinese police recently detained 32 suspects who allegedly produced gutter oil and sold it to restaurants during the latest nationwide crackdown on illegal oil. More than 100 tons of the oil was seized after the exposure of a criminal network spanning 14 provinces, the Ministry of Public Security said on September 13.

Municipal authorities will visit the city's slaughterhouses to learn about how much waste animal oil and fat each slaughterhouse produces in a month and where these waste materials are sold.

Beijing uses up 600,000 tons of cooking oil each year and may generate 15 percent, or 90,000 tons, of waste oil; of which 60,000 to 70,000 tons can be collected. A significant amount of the waste oil ends up at illegal oil processing plants, and is reprocessed and sold as cooking oil, the report says.

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