Fats, Oils, and Grease

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Fats, Oils, and Grease

Prevent Fats, Oils, and Grease from Damaging Your Home and the Environment
Sewer backups can cause health hazards, damage home interiors, and threaten the environment. A common cause of backups is sewers blocked by grease. Grease gets into the sewer system from household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses.

Home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system.  Also, hot water and products that claim to dissolve grease only pass it further down the line, where it causes problems elsewhere.

Grease is a byproduct of cooking that comes from meat fats, lard, oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baked goods, sauces, and dairy products. When washed down the sink, grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes (both on your property and in the street). Over time, it can build up and block an entire pipe.

Help Prevent Sewer Backups
• Never pour grease down the sink drain or garbage disposal or flush it down the toilet.
• Put strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids and then empty in the trash.
• Pour or scrape grease and food scraps into a can or the trash for disposal.

Kitchen Best Management Practices for Restaurants
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are composed of animal and vegetable fats and oils that are used to cook and prepare food. FOG should be recycled for use in other products or properly disposed of to avoid sewer blockage, fines, and environmental issues.

Train employees
Display “No Grease” information in the workplace.
Install removable screens on all kitchen drains to prevent food from clogging the sewer system.
Keep hot water to drains less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent grease from passing through the grease interceptors.
Pour cooking grease and liquid oil into a covered grease container.
Use Spill Kits.

  • Dry-wipe FOG and food from pots, pans, utensils and dishware before washing.
  • Clean exhaust hoods regularly
  • Keep outdoor grease containers and dumpsters tightly covered.
  • Recycle waste cooking oil whenever possible—check the local phone listings for specialty waste haulers.
  • Clean FOG spills immediately to prevent them from entering floor drains.
  • Use absorbent materials to clean up indoor FOG spills and dispose of in a proper container such as a trash can or dumpster.
  • Never rinse away outdoor FOG spills and do not use kitty litter or sawdust to absorb an outdoor spill.  Rain can rinse both into the storm drains.  Use absorbent pads to clean up the spill and dispose of in a trash can or dumpster.
  • Never allow water hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit to enter a grease trap.