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People's Daily Online>>China Society

City aims to pull food safety out of the gutter (2)

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

10:20, April 09, 2012

"Everybody is happy to see those changes, but I'm not optimistic about the implementation. And we still lack thorough supervision of food production," Fan said.

Giving gutter oil as an example, Fan said the most effective way to remove it from the supply chain is at the source, restaurants.

"But Beijing has more than 20,000 restaurants, so it's not possible to take samples of the oil from every restaurant for tests, which is a big challenge for the supervision and enforcement departments," Fan said.

Local residents approve of the new rules, and hope they can be enforced.

"The harsher the punishments, the better it is to ensure consumers' safety. I hope authorities can really strictly implement the regulation, otherwise it means nothing," said Bai Xue, a Chaoyang district resident.

Meizhou Dongpo, a Sichuan-style chain restaurant, sends staff to check if waste oil is used in their kitchens.

"We aren't allowed to use gutter oil, and we discard used oil. But when I worked in a small restaurant, it might reuse oil," said a chef surnamed Li from the Qingnian Lu branch of the restaurant, in Chaoyang district.

Several food safety scandals surfaced in 2011, such as gutter oil and cancer-causing additive clenbuterol added to pig feed to produce lean meat.

The Xinhua News Agency reported last week that police had arrested over 100 suspects for making a new type of gutter oil in a new food safety drive.

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