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Toxic oil used in 1 in 10 meals in China: report

world Updated: Mar 20, 2010 12:21 IST
Kyodo
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China's food safety watchdog has warned restaurants across the country against using filthy and toxic "drainage" oil after a report revealed that one in every 10 meals in the country is cooked with such oil.

The State Food and Drug Administration was quoted yesterday by the 'China Daily' as saying that food service providers will be punished if they use such oil, and that their licenses could be revoked.

Drainage oil refers to oil from kitchen waste, oil from pork products and recycled oil. The oil contains a highly toxic and carcinogenic substance, the daily said.

The paper quoted He Dongping, a food science professor at Wuhan Polytechnic University, as saying that people in China consume about 2 to 3 million tons of such "illegal" cooking oil every year.

The Chinese people's annual oil consumption totals about 22.5 million tons, which means "a ratio of 1 to 10" Dongping said.

His revelation was a result of a research project he has been conducting with nine of his students in an effort to find an effective way to detect and identify illegal oil used in food production.

His study shows that the so-called drainage oil business is "extremely profitable," the paper reported.