What We Should Know About 'Gutter Oil'


          It was reported earlier by Chinese mainland media that unscrupulous merchants in the Mainland had blended all kinds of inferior quality oil, like hogwash oil, waste fried oil, food offal and waste grease from related enterprises (collectively known as 'Gutter Oil'), to produce edible oil and put it on the market for sale. The incident is indeed a serious hazard to public health and local authorities has lately taken action to stamp out this illegal cooking oil. The course of these actions has attracted great public attention.


Hazards of 'Gutter Oil'

1.     The manufacturing process of 'Gutter Oil' is unhygienic and prone to contamination that in turn produces hazardous substances. Consumption of such dirty oil will result in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and related gastrointestinal sickness;

2.     'Gutter Oil' is a mix of sewage and hazardous chemicals like heavy metals which will cause acute abdominal cramps, anemia and toxic hepatic disease;

3.     'Gutter Oil' contains carcinogens, like aflatoxin and benzopyrene, which will induce cancer.


What actions have the Chinese Mainland government taken to stamp out 'Gutter Oil'?

The relevant authorities of Mainland China monitor and control all stages involved from production to consumption and take a series of actions to zero in on the source of origin, purchase, storage, transport, production, processing, wholesale and retail of raw materials used in food production.


What actions have the Macao government taken to prevent the import of 'Gutter Oil' to Macao?

1.     Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus in China Mainland will register and keep records of all types of edible oil to be exported, to maintain strict quality control and safeguard food safety;

2.     The Macao government is highly concerned about the incident and relevant departments have taken immediate actions to intensify monitoring and have stringent control over all procedures relevant to the prevention of its imports;

3.     Maintain close contact with relevant information sources through the long-established information exchange and notification mechanism. Take immediate actions and make timely follow-ups whenever necessary to ensure food safety;  

4.     Take preventive actions through familiarizing the industry and public with relevant information and guidance.


Safety tips for the industry

1.       Make sure that the source of goods is reliable and buy from reputable suppliers;

2.       Comply with laws, regulations and guidelines.


Safety tips for the public

1.     Buy edible oil from reputable shops; refrain from buying oil of unknown origin or which is obviously priced too low; 

2.     Pure edible oil is transparent. Do not buy oil that appears turbid and contains large quantity of sediments; 

3.     Observe the “best before date” on the packaging and never use or consume expired edible oil; 

4.     Edible oil with an unpleasant smell is not proper for use or consumption; 

5.     Be a smart consumer and do not buy any edible oil should there be doubts about its safety;


The government, food industry and the public work their best to ensure food safety!