Carolina Clear is providing educational materials to assist with educational efforts on FOG (Fats, Grease and Oil) for restaurants. Partnering Counties who offer educational materials (DOWNLOAD MATERIALS LIST - see sample sticker at page bottom below) includes the counties of Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Florence, Darlington, Sumter, Richland, Anderson, and Pickens.
Restaurants produce FOG (fat, oil, and grease), a major factor in most kitchens. These cooking by-products come from deep fryers, frying pans, and grills. It is transported by buckets and is washed off of cleaning surfaces. FOG often finds its way down the drain, which can be devastating to our environment and lead to compliance issues for restaurants.
TIPS FOR MINIMIZING PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH FOG
- Prevent oil spills. Remind kitchen workers to be careful when handling oil and fats.
- Inform your employees. Talk to employees (perhaps as part of training) about the importance of proper FOG management and the damaging effects that poor FOG management has on the environment.
- Recycle or sell used oil. Find a grease handler that will recycle grease instead of throwing it away.
- Clean grease traps regularly. Any sink or floor drains that might take in oil should be connected to a grease trap or grease separation device. An overly full grease trap does not properly separate grease from water. Clean drain traps at least once a week. Contract a grease handler to remove grease from interceptor tanks at least once every three months.
- Dry clean FOG. If you use water to clean up grease, it will ultimately go down the drain. Instead of soaking up grease spills with usable rags that must be washed with water, use food grade paper to wipe up grease.
- Keep FOG out of garbage disposal. Never put fatty food scraps or oil down a garbage disposal, even if it is connected to a grease trap.
- Locate grease bins appropriately. Location, location, location! Ensure that employees can easily access outdoor grease bins and that they are placed in well-lit areas and within a reasonable distance of the kitchen door.
- Schedule for grease bins to be pumped regularly. Be alert to how full grease containers are and when the grease pumping company is next scheduled to pump.
- Designate a safe equipment washing area. Kitchen mats, grills, and other equipment should be washed down in an area that does not lead to a storm drain.
PROPER FOG MANAGEMENT CAN:
- Avoid expensive repairs. FOG solidifies around the insides of underground stormwater pipes. This can lead to pipe bursts, overflows, backups and blockages, which can cost you a lot more money than proper FOG management (this includes steep fines and repair costs up to $20,000). Food service establishments that contribute to FOG buildup in pipes can even face lawsuits.
- Prevent pollution. When FOG accumulates in sewer systems and leads to overflows, sewer waste ends up in lakes, streams, and oceans, causing serious damage to the ecosystem. Furthermore, proper FOG management can help the environment by providing an otherwise wasted source of biodiesel.
- Prevent inconveniences that are bad for business. Greasy pipes and parking lots lead to bad odors, rodents, and pest problems.
Sample sticker for grease bins available from partnering counties