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Quanjude: Olympic Peking duck '100 pct safe'
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A cook at Quanjude cooks Peking duck in an undated photo. [File Photo: thebeijingnews.com]

Quanjude, one of China's oldest Peking duck restaurants, says guests in for the Beijing Olympics should have no worries about enjoying its ducks, despite a recent ban on the dish by the European Union.

The world-famous Peking duck might be removed from restaurant menus in the United Kingdom following an EU ban on the duck ovens citing concerns over carbon-monoxide emissions.

UK officials are busy inspecting restaurants and sealing ovens that don't carry a CE (Conformité Européenne) mark, a European standard for product safety, The Daily Mail reported.

Quanjude, which serves Peking duck in the Olympic Village in Beijing, says the duck meat it provides for athletes and officials will be "100 percent safe," Beijing Youth Daily quoted an unnamed representative from the company as saying.

Quanjude's ducks are selected from farms designated by the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, the representative says. He says that the ducks will undergo strict safety and nutrition checks before and after they are roasted in the oven.

Peking duck, a dish with a history of 600 years or more, is traditionally roasted in either a hanging oven, like those at Quanjude, or in a closed oven.

Most of the duck ovens used by Chinese restaurants in the United Kingdom were imported from China because European manufacturers don't make them, The Daily Mail reported.

The recent ban came despite local officials conceding that there have been no reported health problems linked to the ovens, the report said.

Many Chinese cooks in the United Kingdom are infuriated by the clampdown, accusing the Europeans of having no knowledge about the art of cooking Peking duck.

(CRI July 23,2008)

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