The municipal health authority has launched a crackdown on restaurants’ use of illegal cooking oil to improve food safety.
‘All restaurants must retain receipts for cooking oil for inspection and we will increase the frequency of regular inspections,’ said Mr Ma Yanming, press official of Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.
As part of the supervision process, licenced restaurants are already graded from A to D on sanitation and quality. ‘We will concentrate more on C- and D-level restaurants by sending more inspectors and increasing the frequency of inspections,’ Mr Ma said.
Starting on Sunday, inspectors in all district branches of the health bureau are to visit restaurants daily to inspect receipts for cooking oil purchases and investigate supply channels, said Cai Changjing, publicity official of the Beijing health inspection office.
Restaurants are prohibited from purchasing cooking oil from illegal sources or buying oil products without having full information about the manufacturer. Violators will face penalties, and their cases will be referred to the public security department.
However, concerns have been raised about the scope of the campaign, which only covers licensed eateries and not illegal food carts. ‘These food carts are major users of illegal cooking oil, but we are not responsible for that. Only urban management officers (chengguan) supervise them,’ Mr Ma said.