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Health Ministry Orders Inspection on Edible Oil
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Chinese health authorities will conduct sudden inspections on local restaurants' edible oil, especially in small and medium restaurants and dining halls in construction sites, China News Service reported today.

The Ministry of Health yesterday issued an emergency notice to kick off the sudden inspections, after the Zhejiang health department seized 16,500 kilograms of unfit oil in an edible oil plant last month.

The ministry said local authorities should launch quick inspections to determine the chemical composition of edible oil.

If the result shows that the oil's acidity or peroxide value exceeds the standard, a sample of the oil should be sent to the local disease control and prevention center or inspection organization for further testing.

The local authority will then trace the source of the inferior edible oil if its components seriously exceed standards.

A plant in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province was found refining edible oil from eatery scraps and the grease in sewers, an earlier report said.

The city's heath department checked the plant and found the ingredients of the oil severely violate China's criteria, which may cause food poisoning and cancer among people who eat it, according to the health authority.

Zhejiang provincial health department has urged its local agencies to launch raids in their precincts to track down the oil.

(Shanghai Daily September 1, 2006)

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