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Green Homes & Businesses

Restaurants: Green Kitchens

Build-up of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) in pipes can cause serious problems in the sanitary sewer system and that could mean serious problems for your business's bottom line.

In commercial kitchens, plumbing problems caused by FOG include:

  • Expensive cleanup, repair and replacement of damaged property.
  • Raw sewage overflows due to blocked sewer lines.
  • Rancid odors.
  • Potential contact with microorganisms that can cause hepatitis and gastroenteritis.

Preventing grease and fats from getting into your pipes is much cheaper than removing it.

 

GOOD TO DO

Get certified by HRFOG.com

  • Train kitchen staff and other employees to implement best management practices for kitchen grease disposal. Have staff members complete the free HR FOG Certification Program online at www.HRFOG.com.

Use the Most Appropriate Water Temperature

  • Follow local health department regulations for water temperature.
  • Use a mechanical dishwasher with a minimum temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a water temperature of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit in all sinks, especially the pre-rinse sink that precedes a mechanical dishwasher. Temperatures in excess of 140 degrees Fahrenheit will dissolve grease, but grease can solidify in the sanitary system as the water cools.

Wipe all Pots, Pans and Dishware

  • Always scrape leftover food debris into the trash. Rinsing food down the drain can contribute to costly backups.
  • Wipe all greasy residue from pots, pans and dishware prior to washing. The most effective method is to use a spatula and then follow up with a paper towel. This will reduce the amount of FOG entering the GCD which will decrease the cleaning frequency and maintenance costs.

Properly Maintain Exterior Grease Interceptors

  • Pump contents of gravity grease interceptors at a minimum of once every 90 days. Some facilities may need to clean more frequently in order to prevent exceeding 25% capacity of the interceptor with grease and food solids. Check with your local FOG program manager to determine what your interceptor pump frequency needs to be.

Oversee Grease Control Device Cleaning

  • Ensure your hauler is certified through the HR FOG Certification Program and permitted to dispose of waste properly.
  • Make sure the complete contents of the GCD is pumped and grease buildup is removed from the sides. Partial pumping (grease layer only) or decanting (returning greasy waste back into the device) is not allowed. Contact your grease waste hauler or supervise cleanings to make sure contents are pumped completely.

For Those Approved to Self-Clean HGIs

  • Some smaller sized HGIs may be cleaned by a restaurant employee with the approval from the local FOG program manager.
  • Contact your FOG program manager to apply for approval to self-clean.
  • Watch this Grease Trap Cleaning Tutorial for helpful cleaning tips.

Maintain a Maintenance Log and All Service Records

  • The log serves as a record of the frequency of cleaning and the volume of grease recovered from the GCD. Service records verify the accuracy of the maintenance log to provide proof of maintenance.

Clean Your Range Hood

  • Range hoods, and range hood vent filters pose a serious fire hazard if left dirty. Keep your hood clean, and make sure that the water used to clean it drains into your GCD.

Cover Yellow Grease Containers Stored Outdoors

  • Uncovered yellow grease bins can collect rainwater and result in an overflow. Overflows can spill yellow grease into storm drains where it will flow to local waterways and harm aquatic life.

Place Absorbent Materials Around Yellow Grease Bins

  • Place absorbent materials around yellow grease bins to keep spilled grease from flowing into the stormwater system. It is a food service establishment owner’s responsibility to make sure that grease bins are maintained and kept in proper working condition.

Conspicuously Post “No Grease” Signs

  • Post “No Grease” signs as a constant reminder in restrooms, over sinks, near all floor drains and dishwashers, and anywhere else water may enter a drain. (You can request signs from your municipal FOG program manager.)

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