BEIJING: China’s food safety commission will investigate the alleged use of fuel tanker trucks to transport cooking oil, state media reported on Tuesday (Jul 9), amid fears of possible food contamination.

Local daily The Beijing News last week reported that state stockpiler Sinograin’s fuel tankers were found transporting food products like cooking oil, soybean oil and syrup, without cleaning the tankers in between.

The food safety commission will hold a special meeting with state planning agency the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Administration of Grain and Reserves, and other ministries to discuss and investigate the allegations, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

“Illegal enterprises and relevant responsible persons will be severely punished in accordance with the law and will not be tolerated,” CCTV said.

Chinese food products have come under scrutiny domestically and globally after a series of scandals, especially the lethal milk scandal in 2008 where infant formula was found containing the industrial chemical melamine.

Beijing has sought to step up food safety controls and assure importers that its products are safe, while some Chinese consumers have turned to foreign brands that are deemed more reputable.

Beijing News last week said the cooking oil issue was an “open secret” in the transport industry.

CCTV called it “tantamount to poisoning”, even after Sinograin released a statement saying it had ordered an investigation into whether transportation carriers leaving and entering its warehouses were compliant with food safety regulations.

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