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Gutter oil

Chinese health officials arrest 32 in cooking oil cleanup

China's latest food safety problem is about as filthy as they get: they're calling it "gutter oil."

Officials have arrested 32 people in a recent crackdown on selling recycled cooking oil, often gathered from sewers and gutters before being repackaaged and resold. The China Daily reports that some of the oil isn't actually thrown out, just sold after being used to brokers who then re-sell it to other restaurants and establishments. Gutter oil is only about 10-20 percent cheaper than real, fresh cooking oil, the newspaper yet. Yet that profit margin is enough to create an entire industry that breaks health and safety standards.

In a related note, officials in one southern province have denied that a rice noodle restaurant chain was using oil that came from a human crematorium and had been used in the cremation process (its unclear whether that's even possible). The restaurant chain said its competitors had started the rumor to kill its business.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/gutter-oil