Gutter oil reports spark food safety concerns

SINGAPORE: Some members of public have raised their concerns over food safety after reports that individuals have been extracting used cooking oil from sewers, and which may have been used by hawkers subsequently.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said it conducted checks at food shops and food stalls to ascertain that the ingredients used, including cooking oil, are from approved or licensed sources, and actions will be taken against operators who flout the rules.

It added that there have been no previous instances of food shops or food stalls using cooking oil from illegal sources in the past five years.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has said samples of oil and food products from manufacturers are regularly taken for laboratory testing to ensure compliance.

It added that enforcement action will be taken against food manufacturers who do not comply with the requirements and contaminated products will be destroyed.

The safety concerns were sparked when netizens posted several photos that allegedly show staff from a company named “Oil Village”, extracting what is known as gutter oil, from grease traps near hawker centres in Bukit Panjang.

But the company is not on a list released by NEA in February of firms that are licensed to open grease traps or deal with waste oil.

NEA said it is investigating the incident.

– CNA/de

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