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Machines to join fight against gutter oil

(Global Times)

09:45, September 02, 2011

An employee of a Biotech company skims gutter oil from a tank. His company in Zhejiang Province manufactures gutter oil into biotech diesel oil. (CFP Photo)

Shanghai food safety authorities released a draft regulation on Thursday that would require local restaurants to install a 10,000 yuan ($1,567) device to prevent waste oil from entering city sewers.

The Shanghai Municipal Food Safety Office hopes the new requirement will help put an end to the manufacturing of unsanitary recycled cooking oil that is processed from restaurant waste collected from the sewer system.

The piece of equipment, called an oil mist separator, filters oil and grease from a restaurant's wastewater before it enters the sewer system. The draft requires restaurants to install the device by the end of 2012.

Regulators will also raid illegal oil recycling mills and workshops where discarded waste and sewage is processed into cooking oil.

Shanghai produces about 100 tons of waste cooking oil per day from 40,000 licensed restaurants. However, less than a third of the waste oil is being properly recycled. Officials fear much of it is being reused, according to local reports.

One-tenth of Chinese cooking oil could be recycled kitchen waste oil, which contains a highly toxic, carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin and can cause cancer, He Dongping, a food science professor with Wuhan Polytechnic University, said.
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