32 arrested for selling waste cooking oil as new
Chinese police inspect illegal cooking oil, better known as "gutter oil" seized during a crackdown in Beijing last year.
September 13th, 2011
11:05 AM ET

32 arrested for selling waste cooking oil as new

Thirty-two people have been arrested in China for selling cooking oil recovered from gutters behind restaurants, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

China's Ministry of Public Security said it recovered more than 100 tons of the illegal so-called "gutter oil," the report said.

The arrests came after a six-month investigation that spanned 14 provinces, according to Xinhua.

The state-run China Daily, citing a report in the Beijing Times, said the oil comes from restaurant gutters, leftover pieces of pork and poultry fat. It is refined at illegal plants that remove impurities with calcium carbonate and neutralize acidity with alkali.

The oil then is repackaged and sold with customers unable to tell its origins, China Daily reported. Testing at state-run facilities showed some of the oil met safety guidelines, China Daily reported, citing the Beijing Times.

Authorities shut down six underground production sites, Xinhua reported.

Earlier this year, authorities destroyed two illegal cooking oil production facilities in Guangdong province, Xinhua reported in May.

An oil container at one of those plants had sanitary napkins, plastic bags and other garbage in it, according to the Xinhua report.

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Filed under: China • Crime • Food
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. cruiser808

    Just adds to the feeling that I can't trust anything made in China, especially food products, which I will never buy. Always check the label!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.I

      You better don't trust any chinese restaurant here in the U.S. I am very honest to tell you.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norkaper

      Can't trust the label , if the packaging is made in the USA and is more expensive then the Chinese made contents of the packaging , the company is able to print Made in the USA on the package.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas

    I lived about 5 month in a year for 10 years in a Chinese town and I seen it many times when those guys suck the waste oil out of the gutters near larger restaurants. This oil mainly gets sold to street food vendors I learned and is not used to produce bio fuels. Since knowing this I did not buy my fried dumplings for breakfast from the street.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. China Number Won!

    Do not berieve capitarist ries. China number 1 goodtime fun prase.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      OK, I laughed...does that make me a bad person?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.I

      Yes, doing bad things Number 1! I agree.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      I laughed too even if that makes me a bad person.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zabbot

      No laughing at racist stereotypes doesn't make you a racist. Rather it shows that you already were a racist before you read what you laughed at.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really????

      I looked both ways then laughed............ hee hee...............burp.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • frankly

      the chinese are the biggest capitalists in the world, not sure where that joke originated from, probably some dumb american making fun of communism and thinking chinese communism is the same as soviet and some how it caught on.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. insp67

    It was Upton St. Clair's book ,"The Jungle", that enraged the United States people, and that is the reason the President had to create the U.S.D.A.,. not the FDA.
    Plants that produce everything OTHER than meat products are regulated by the FDA. Meat, Poultry and Eggs are regulated by the U.S.D.A. I am in a plant that produces poultry, and there is a product that is made here that is non-meat, and the FDA has jurisdiction over it. It has been produced for over a year, and no FDA inspector has been here yet. I am here 10 hours every day. Ever wonder why sicknesses are still happening? Cook meat and poultry thoroughly!!!
    Separate cooked from raw, untensils, etc.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      The Jungle was a novel you know, like Jurassic Park or A Tale of Two Cities. It was a work of fiction.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in NJ

      Erm, it was written to expose the corruption and unclean and unhealthy conditions in the food industry, smartguy. It's one thing fiction can do – enable social change by reaching a mass of people wanting to be entertained. Did you miiss that in school?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      Sure they can do that, or they can just make stuff up.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • nic

      @boogitime- arthur c. clark wrote about satellites before they came to be.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Although The Jungle was a work of fiction, it did create outrage in the public over sanitary conditions in food production. The author, Upton Sinclair, wrote it to educate Americans to the plight of meat-packing worker, rather than the poor sanitary conditions.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dominic

    Confucious say: "He who cooks with dirty oil is no Betty Crocker."

    September 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lisa LaForest

    The oil should be converted into biofuel.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      They should make the refiners drink it.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phearis

    Well, some if the oil did meet safety guidelines but coming from a country that uses Lead in everything, it's not really saying much.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TODAY

    I guess price for that gourmet oil was "fav dolla a galln"

    September 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. romw2894

    Another good example of Chinese capitalism and ingenuity. Be very careful when you buy any Chinese products as you don't really know their origins or materials used.. Many of the Chinese capitalists actions make a the Western capitalist look like amateurs.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Zongo

    Is that a hard hat at the end of that pole in the mans hand?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • boogietime

      You bet. Safety first

      September 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • nic

      yes, the hat is bolted to the stick,don't you know a ladle when you see one?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. abcde

    That is another way of "recylcing" that has been praticed in China for more than a decade. The irony, this "recycle" scheme started after China started the capital system.
    A friend who came from Beijing told me that her parents warned her not eat at street vendors for this reason. Based on this article, going to restaruatns is also risky.
    I went to China 3 years ago. The tour guide only took us to a special restuarant. We know the reason. The kichen has better sanitary standard. The problem is no one can gurantee the supllier are legit. There are too many crooks. At least those tourist designated restaurants are more healthy than the others

    September 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohsnap

      One of the criteria I use in deciding where to travel is the food. I'm willing to try most things. But the food in China mostly turns me off. I normally eat like the natives do but the vendors and other things just didn't seem clean. And now they find sanitary napkins in the food oil? Man, I'm so glad I grow my own food and eat from local places where I know how the food is raised. Another reason to EAT LOCAL.

      September 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RI

    Ahhh young grasshoppa, you still Numba 1 custamah. want frie rie with cat meow on a steek?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. haywood jablome

    What's wrong with sanitary napkins in cooking oil ? After all we're referring to China here!! They are the biggest users and abusers on the planet........

    September 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nbat

    Now I understand why there is always bad smell in the air around a Chinese Restaurant !

    September 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Yan

    Sounds like what a certain deep fried chicken food chain uses to make it's gravy... ahem...

    September 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
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