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Food Safety in China

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#1 Starseeker

Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:05 PM


Night soil collectors typically visit the drains behind restaurants late at night to scoop up dregs of oil, which they filter and resell.

The government, which released the figures, has promised to take action against the practice. But since there are no laws against skimming oil from drains, police have had to release any suspects.

In April, a man was caught in broad daylight collecting oil at a sewer in Zhengzhou, Henan province, which he admitted intending to sell to street food vendors for 300 yuan a barrel.


The State Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide emergency notice telling health bureaus to investigate the sources of cooking oil in mid-March. The notice came shortly after a professor and a group of students at Wuhan Polytechnic University announced that they had found widespread use of recycled oil in their region in an undercover investigation. The professor, He Dongping, asserted that recycled oil was being used to prepare 1 in 10 meals in China.

Regulators are now searching for illegal oil recycling mills, and some health bureaus have begun releasing the names of restaurants and food establishments that were found to be using questionable oil.

Last November, regulators in southern China raided several workshops for turning discarded waste — possibly even sewage — into cooking oil.



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Maybe I should stop eating out in China.., lols.   :bleh:  

For those that think this is an isolated incident, at last count, it's estimated more than 3 million tons (possibly metric, it isn't specified) is produced annually, and the industry is worth possibly billions of RMB.  

A famous Chinese reporter was recently killed 1 month before his marriage for exposing the sewage oil scandal and refusing to back down.

#2 Bluecat

Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:13 PM

Yeah, do you remember this one?


Happened in Thailand also, by the way.

#3 Starseeker

Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:20 PM

I was thinking of making a separate thread of this news, but I might as well post it here:


Well, the chickens probably didn't kill/make enough people sick to make it into the top 10.

#4 Bluecat

Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:34 PM

Indeed, maybe we could change the thread name to Food Safety in China.
My European colleagues living in China are actually very scared about that, they do not drink fruit juice that is not fresh, for example. They say they do not really know what could be in the can.

#5 Starseeker

Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:17 PM

Well, if you are really worried, you can always shop at foreign owned super/mega markets.  I already wrote a bit about food safety in some earlier threads that I included in the blog.  The funny thing is, if you are really worried, the only thing you can drink is probably cola, or freshly made coffee and tea.  I always chuckle when some westerners ask why Chinese ask to see their products before it is eaten in restaurants.  :bleh:

The amusing thing is, you can go cheap or go imported.  It's the middle class that gets shafted (the same as always).  In terms of beer or spirits, Yanjing and Urguoto are probably the most authentic ones you can buy around the country, since they are so cheap that nobody bothers faking them.  :lol:  I buy quite a lot of smokes (to offer, it's customary to offer smokes to clients that smoke), and I almost never buy foreign brands inside China.  Of course, I am lucky, I live in Beijing.  There are lots of imports here because people can actually afford them and if you cheat the wrong person in Beijing, you never know who they are connected to.  

Can you tell me where they are located?  And anything specific they are worried about?

#6 Bluecat

Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:33 AM

It is not really when they are in the office, the office is in Shanghai.
But they're travelling in China most of the time.
It was the fruit juices some of them were worried about, not sure why. Maybe to explain why they were drinking so much beer... :bleh:

#7 Starseeker

Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:42 AM

Fruit juices?  Why?  Is it because of the emulsifier scandal?  Or the fact that a lot of "fruit" juices are nothing more than flavoring + coloring agent with water?  

Well, getting drunk is fine, but they may want to watch out for the fake stuff that can blind or kill you.  There was an interesting statistic that was published, and it says, one of the most premium liquor in China, the MaoTai, only produces 0.5% of total sales annually...

The new type of fakes wines/liquor uses coloring and flavoring agents with badly made wine inside recycled real bottles.  It can trigger extensive diarrhea.  I would be careful in dance clubs, karaoke, or other typical night clubs.

#8 Uncle Gweilo

Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:51 AM

View PostBluecat, on 29 September 2011 - 12:13 PM, said:

Yeah, do you remember this one?


Happened in Thailand also, by the way.

That kinda turns your stomach. The salmonella and other bugs will be going "Yippee!!" here.

The only thing that will go anywhere near to stopping this is an extensive education programme.

The melamine scandal a few years back has stopped my buying anything I know is made out of melamine. Perhaps not too bad for cold goods but hot stuff- especially if you've nuked the food in the container- is a danger I'm not prepared to expose my system to.

Edited by Uncle Gweilo, 03 October 2011 - 06:54 AM.

#9 Jack Fancy

Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:23 AM

how many folk died cuz of tainted goods?  how many people live here?

The word on the street for the bad oil was don't eat at the mom n pops s### short stop restaurants.
Never did anyways.  Still eat food on the street.  Have for seven years.  Got the shits a lot in Lanzhou.
By a lot, I mean three or four times a year.  But, I still eat on the street.

If s### was outta hand in China, the word would be on the street.  

...Fake booze?  Again... go to a quality place, you get quality.  Go to a s###hole (most places) you get what you paid for.  My favorite was shooting a shot of "Jack Daniels" and choking up some minty liquor....

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