Just weeks after we reported on a factory in Guangzhou boiling “dead, stinking pigs” to extract oil (possibly, but hopefully not, for cooking), we can report that the owner of a Guangzhou hot pot restaurant has been detained for illicitly reprocessing used cooking oil, according to local police cited in a Xinhua report.
Authorities also arrested the restaurant’s manager, surnamed He, and chef, surnamed Huo, for producing and selling “so-called gutter oil.” Staff at the restaurant saved and then boiled leftover broth, before mixing it with new oil and serving it to customers (yuck!).
According to a story by the Yangcheng Evening News, the owner, surnamed Tan, specifically hired Chef Huo because of his tendency to reuse oil. During interrogation, Huo told police that he recycled the oil once a week, processing 10 kilograms each time.
Unfortunately for hot pot enthusiasts looking to avoid the dodgy establishment, the offending restaurant has not been named in any reports we accessed.
What we can report though, is that the questionable hot pot eatery is located on Changfu Lu, in Tianhe, a street featured in our recent story ‘6 Guangzhou Streets Rocked by Food Scandals in 2017.’ The offending restaurant on that list: a Chongqing hot pot shop whose chef, also surnamed Huo, had been preparing hot pot broth with oils extracted from diners' leftover cooking fluids. Coincidence? We think not.
The case is being further investigated by authorities.