FOG in Restaurants
FATS, OILS, AND GREASE (FOG) FOR RESTAURANTS
Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) are a byproduct of cooking and liquid sources of fat like dairy, olive oil, and coconut oil. They enter pipes and the sewer system primarily from cleaning dishware, pots and pans, kitchen equipment, and floors. This can clog pipes and lead to sewer back-ups.
Why is FOG Control Important?
FOG enters the sewer system in liquid form through sinks, dishwashers, and other kitchen fixtures or when food scraps are ground by a food grinder (garbage disposal). FOG solidifies as it cools and sticks to the inside of sewer pipes. Eventually, FOG can build up until it completely blocks sewer pipes, causing raw sewage to back up inside your restaurant or overflow outside into streets and streams.
Best Management Practices
- Never pour oil or grease down any drain!
- Recycle waste cooking oil. Put in an approved oil and grease recycle dumpster.
- Scrape and “dry wipe” food and grease from dirty dishes, pans and containers into the trash or compost before washing in a pot wash sink or dishwasher. This will reduce the load on your grease interceptor so that it can do its job more efficiently.
- Use strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty strainer contents into the trash.
- Post “No Grease” signs near sinks and drains. (see toolkit below)
- Do not discharge water over 140°F. Temperatures in excess of 140°F will dissolve and flush grease through grease interceptors. Grease can re-congeal and cause blockages further downstream in the sanitary sewer collection system as the water cools, resulting in a blockage.
- Train and educate kitchen staff about grease control and its importance. Inform them on how they can have a positive impact on the environment and your facility’s plumbing system. (see toolkit below)
- Make sure that mop water and mat cleaning water is discharged to a sink connected to the grease trap, not outdoors. Sweep floors and wipe up greasy areas first before mopping to minimize the grease and debris going to the sanitary sewer system.
- Routinely clean kitchen exhaust system filters. Use dry wiping methods first, then clean hood parts in a sink connected to the grease interceptor. Uncleaned exhaust will allow oil and grease to accumulate on the roof and run off in rain events. Do not spray hood filters outside without containing wastewater for proper disposal.
- Keep grease dumpster surfaces and dumpster pads clean. Clean any spills on and near the dumpster using dry wiping and scraping methods. This will ensure grease and food is not washing off during rain events. Make sure the containers you carry oil and grease to the dumpster in are not too heavy or full to avoid spills.
- Scrape up and absorb spills before using water for clean up. Use absorbent pads or other material to clean up grease and oil spills from floors, equipment, containers, and dumpsters. Do not use free flowing absorbent materials such as kitty litter or sawdust that can be discharged to the stormwater system unless the material will be cleaned up immediately.
- Managing Fats, Oils, and Grease Flyer (English)(Spanish) - post at a prominent location
- FOG Guide (National Restaurant Association)