Shanghai Restaurant Owners Jailed for Reusing Oil

Gutter oil charge gets restaurateurs three years

When Shanghai cracks down on food safety violations, it doesn't kid around. As part of the recent crackdown on food scandals, two restaurateurs were sentenced to three and a half years in prison for using recycled oil in food.

According to Shanghai Daily, Zheng Pin, the 38-year-old owner of Fula Hotpot Restaurant in Shanghai was charged for reusing oil from hotpot leftovers. In addition to three and a half years of jail time, she was fined 200,000 yuan (about $32,000).

Zheng had told her waiters to collect hotpot leftovers from the tables and store them in plastic buckets, the suit alleged. She strained out the solids and sent the soup over to her nephew, a cook at another hotpot restaurant run by Zheng's husband. The nephew filtered the soups and boiled them to extract the oil, which was then used for new hotpots and served to unsuspecting customers. 

The nephew was sentenced to a year in prison and fined 2,000 yuan ($320) for his part in the oil recycling. Zheng's husband was not charged.

Related Stories
Guide to the Chinese New Year in Shanghai Shanghai Cracks Down on Food Safety ViolationsA Shanghai Dumpling Primer

Another Shanghai restaurateur, the owner of Zhengjiang Sichuan Restaurant, was also sentenced to three and a half years in prison and a 200,000-yuan fine for using recycled oil in roasted fish dishes. The employee responsible for processing the used oil was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined 2,000 yuan.