How Can a Food Scrap Collector Help Fight the FOG?
If you’re a restaurant owner, cafeteria manager or plumber, then you’ve probably heard about FOG (fats, oils, and grease). But what exactly is it and what are its implications on the food service industry?
What is FOG?
FOG is fats, oils, and grease items from the food preparation process that get drained into the wastewater system. This includes animal and vegetable fats, butter, margarine, shortening, food scraps, meat fats, and lard.
How Can This Impact My Operation?
When FOG is drained, it can cause grease build up. This can result in blockages and damage to pipes which cause sewage back-ups. Sewage overflow from businesses are health hazards and can cause damage to buildings, city wastewater systems and equipment, and the environment.
The cost of repair and clean up from these back-ups and overflows can be costly. When on private property the responsibility falls on the business owner and many municipalities have started fining the commercial kitchen operators who are causing problems to their sewer system.
Large FOG blockages referred to as “fatbergs” can grow in sewage systems and cause major problems. A fatberg in Baltimore caused an overflow of more than 1 million gallons of sewage into a Maryland stream. In London, a fatberg almost the length of three football fields weighed 130 tons and took three weeks to resolve.
With the increase in overflows due to FOG, City and County sewer departments have started implementing best management plans. Businesses must comply with regulations on grease traps and garbage disposals and pass periodic inspections. Failure to comply with these new sewer ordinances may result in the suspension of sewer service if it causes harmful conditions and large civil fines for repeat violations.
What Can I Do to Get Out in Front of This Problem?
Do not pour grease down any drains. Even post “NO Grease” signs above all sinks.
Pour hot grease into a container such a metal can, and wipe down greasy pots and pans of any remaining grease before washing.
Have your grease trap cleaned regularly to prevent backups and ensure that it is properly functioning.
Use paper towels to wipe down work areas. Cloth towels will accumulate grease that will eventually end up in your drains when washing.
Strain or filter oil in deep fryers to extend the life of the cooking oil. Also, control the temperature to prevent the oil from scorching.
Try to avoid using commercial garbage disposals or remove yours and replace it with The Drain Strainer. Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer is an affordable food scrap collector and an effective commercial disposal alternative that protects your grease trap and sink drains from food debris. You can dispose of or even recycle the food scrap waste by composting it and your sinks will still drain quickly.
Include FOG management best practices in your kitchen staffs’ training. If you are a plumber, make your commercial kitchen customers aware of FOG best practices and city ordinances.
These are just a few of the many safe food waste disposal and cleaning methods used to prevent the build-up of FOG. Do your part in complying with the EPA Clean Water Act regulations by ordering The Drain Strainer and following preventative FOG practices.