Prevent Food Waste From Clogging Your Commercial Kitchen Drain
The food items you pay the most attention to in your commercial kitchen are the ones on your customers' plates. But do you spend enough time thinking about what happens to the food items that happen to be left behind?
In an ideal world, people would clean their plates and no waste would exist. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Translation: You waste a lot of food in your restaurant kitchen -- more than you'd probably like to admit.
To prevent food waste from clogging up your drain, here's a guide for properly throwing away food at your eating establishment.
Throwing Away Food in Trash Cans
The garbage bin is the most common manner of throwing away food. Of course, you'll have to empty the garbage every night. Otherwise, you're left with rotting, smelly food.
Another challenge with trash cans is that garbage bins can breed germs. Therefore, you have to exercise caution when dealing with food waste, including making certain your employees always wash their hands after they've touched your restaurant's garbage.
When throwing away food items, avoid tossing fat, oil or grease directly into your trash bags, as they can easily leak and attract animal pests and bugs. Instead, place these items in a container that closes easily -- for example, a coffee can or a waxed paper or plastic milk jug.
The reality, though, is that even though using trash cans is a common practice in restaurants, it's not necessarily the best option for disposing of leftover food. Let's take a look at composting -- an alternative to using trash cans that offers many advantages.
So, what exactly is composting? This practice essentially involves collecting old food and adding it to a compost bin.
The bin can easily take food waste such as potato peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds and food that customers left behind on their plates. Then, you can simply pour your bin's contents into your restaurant's garden post every night when you close the kitchen.
Benefits and Challenges of Composting
Composting offers a threefold benefit. It allows you to eradicate your eatery's old food while also creating useful compost for your establishment's landscaping needs. After all, compost does an excellent job of fertilizing the soil.
On top of this, it is great for the environment. And in today's eco-friendly-focused society, that makes it great PR for your restaurant's reputation.
Keep in mind, though, that not every piece of food can be disposed of using the composting method. For instance, oils, fats, meat, and dairy generally cannot be eliminated using this method.
Instead, feel free to add items such as egg shells, fruits, vegetables, and grains and pieces of bread. Everything else needs to go in your garbage can. But you should avoid putting any food down your disposal.
The items you place in your bin need to be mixed with organic materials, such as vegetation, as well as newspaper or cardboard and dirt/soil so that your food items can be broken down.
Every time you put new materials in your compost pile, be sure to turn it using a tool such as a garden fork. This brings in fresh oxygen that can help with your composting process.
Also, note that a worm bin is also available to meet your composting needs. This type of bin works similarly to a regular compost bin except that you rely on worms to eat your food waste rather than waiting for your food to rot. As a result, the process is quicker.
You'll need "wigglers," or red worms, to make a worm bin work for you. Your compost bin with the worms needs to be outside your building.
Now let's take a look at how to handle spoiled food items when throwing away food at your eating establishment.
Spoiled food items such as canned goods, meats, and some dairy items can harbor pathogens that cause illness. Dairy and meat, in particular, will spoil if exposed to 40- to 140-degree-Fahrenheit temperatures for over two hours.
If you can't toss these items into a trash bin and have them hauled away right away, place them in sealed plastic bags so that the smell doesn't attract pests or animals.
Besides throwing food away in trash bins, the most frequently used method of pitching old food is using the commercial kitchen sink garbage disposal.
However, as is the case with trash bins, garbage disposals are not the perfect tools for eliminating leftovers. After all, several items cannot go down a disposal. These include the following items, which can bind up your disposal's blades:
- Fibrous food items, such as artichoke scraps
- Corn Husks
You'll also want to avoid putting pasta and potatoes down your disposal, as they swell when in water and thus can become a sticky paste that clogs your disposal. Paper, plastic, metal and glass also should not go down your drain or else you'll tear it up.
Luckily, there is a more efficient alternative to garbage disposals, called The Drain Strainer.
Your Commercial Disposal Alternative
The Drain Strainer is an effective and affordable alternative to a commercial garbage disposal that requires no electricity or water to run.
Unlike a commercial disposal, The Drain Strainer doesn't have any moving parts, including ball bearings or motors, that may have to be repaired down the road. In addition, it doesn't pose the safety risk to your restaurant's employees that garbage disposals can when you're throwing away food.
One of the best aspects of The Drain Strainer is that it prevents food waste from clogging your commercial kitchen drain and getting into your local sewer system. The waste you capture with this device can simply be tossed in a trash bin or compost bin instead.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help you to eliminate your restaurant's leftovers in a safe and eco-friendly way.