China has recently been plagued with a variety of health and safety concerns about food and food preparation. China has much work to do to repair its food safety record since highly publicized scandals, such as poisoned formula milk and tainted pork. Chinese consumers have greatly suffered because of several food safety scandals. Tainted fish were treated with antimicrobials known to be cancer causing, and an industrial chemical called melamine killed six children and affected 300,000 in 2008 when it was leaked into milk and infant formula.
Now the Chinese police are engaged by a new threat known as gutter oil, stemming from old kitchen oil that street vendors are illegally recycling for use. Police have already arrested 32 people in a nationwide crackdown against the reused oil. 100 tons of gutter oil have been seized in 14 provinces and six workshops were closed as well, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The threat in this oil lies in carcinogens and traces of a deadly mold called aflatoxin.
In 2009 the government enacted a stringent food safety law meant to enforce harsh penalties for makers of tainted food products. Now it seems, the country is living up to this measure by preventing gutter oil from reaching street food consumers.
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