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Hong Kong to Toughen Cooking Oil Regulations
   2014-09-18 20:09:51    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang

A bakery in Hong Kong which was found using the so-called "gutter oil" from Taiwan. [Photo: howbuy.com]

Authorities in Hong Kong are soliciting public opinions on toughening the laws on edible oils in the wake of a scandal which has seen hundreds of local restaurants being exposed to so-called "gutter oil".

CRI's Hong Kong correspondent Li Jing has more.

 

The proposed changes to the laws would include provisions that substandard or recycled cooking oil must not be used as an ingredient for oil manufactured in Hong Kong.

Importers of edible oils will also need to get certificates issued by the place of origin to prove their products are up to standard.

At the same time, food manufacturers and restaurants will be required to pass on their used cooking oil to a designated recycler.

The new plan comes amid the scandal involving a Taiwan-based oil producer, who earlier this month was found to have been using recycled cooking oil and oil from leather treatments in its product, which were then sold to various restaurants in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Hong Kong's Health Secretary, Doctor Ko Wing-man.

"The Chang Guan cooking oil scandal has brought about increased awareness of the safety of edible oil. We believe it is the right time to implement the stricter framework."

But at the same time, Doctor Ko says authorities want to ensure they minimize the impact the changes might have on the food industry.

"We will solicit public opinions for two or three months, and we welcome the industry and other stakeholders to offer their views. After implementing the legislation, all Hong Kong-manufactured edible oils, including lard, will have to meet the tightened standards."

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene is also promising to beef up its regulation and monitor the use of recycled cooking oil.

A trading company in Hong Kong, Globalway, is accused of supplying lard oil produced for animal feed or industrial use to Taiwan, but labeled as "for human consumption."

For CRI, this is Li Jing in Hong Kong.

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