Fiji Time: 3:17 PM on Tuesday 23 December

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Cheap oil

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, January 07, 2013

HEALTH is wealth, as most people say.

But some people do not have the wealth or money to ensure good health.

They often look for food items or ingredients for their meals that they would be able to afford.

One item that is always on everyone's shopping list is cooking oil.

While some can afford the more pricey olive oil, most would go for the common alternatives.

However, some go for much cheaper but unhealthy cooking oil being sold at some places.

Last year, the Consumer Council of Fiji was alerted to bottles of used cooking oil being sold at the Suva Market for $2.50 per 1.25-litre bottle.

It is concerned that people are being sold cheap used cooking oil.

The used cooking oil is believed to be purchased in bulk from restaurants and bottled in plastic soft drink bottles.

Consumer Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said used oil was high in saturated fats, cooked food particles, dirt and other contaminants.

"This poses potential health and safety risks to consumers," she said.

"The re-heating of cooking oil can be hazardous to health because the oil constituent compounds can undergo physical and chemical changes.

"While consumers are informed by the vendor that these are used oil, the bottles are not properly labelled and do not comply with food safety laws."

Mrs Kumar said the council had advised vendors selling used cooking oil that it was waste material and a danger to consumers.

She urged the bigger restaurants selling used cooking oil to market vendors to exercise their social responsibility and refrain from such practices.