Whether you are cooking in your home kitchen or a professional one for commercial use, you most probably have had problems with fats, oils, and grease, also known as FOG. It’s something highly annoying that can cause inconvenience and also problems. Oils and fats make food tasty, and you can’t argue with that, and every kitchen uses oils for cooking. Even the ones healthy, vegan joints use oils. The oils and the fats are used on the kitchen stoves and in the fryers.
Handling the used oil is vital because it can’t be disposed of as you wish. Some protocols need to be followed. You can’t simply wash down FOG substances the drain, and some codes need to be respected.
All of that is critical because of our environment and nature. If you don’t follow the codes or you mishandle FOG, you can cause severe problems. And you should know that those problems are not the only environment-related. If you mishandle oils your, or the kitchen staff can hurt themselves. And there is constantly a risk of fire hazard.
We will talk about tips on avoiding problems in your kitchen with FOG and keeping your kitchen a safe place.
You need to have a grease trap
Something like this is not mandatory for home kitchens, but commercial ones are required to have grease traps that will catch the FOG and guard it until it’s time to dispose of it. A system like this is ideal because, with its help, nothing is going down the pipes, risking damaging them. And nothing is being released into nature, risking to make an environmental disaster.
For a grease trap to work correctly, it needs to be maintained and cleaned regularly. And if you desire to read more about that, you can find information here: greasetrapchicago.com. Some grease traps require professional clean-ups, while others that are relatively small can be cleaned up by employees, that are adequately trained to do it.
Once you find the grease trap that perfectly fits your kitchen and gets installed correctly, you would want to do regular clean-ups for more reasons. You would want to do it because a well-maintained grease trap will last longer, and with that, it will save you money. If you don’t do the regular clean-ups, you can cause problems in your kitchen, but you can also be fined. Fines for not complying with the following regulations depend on the state and the municipality you are in, but they are not cheap. Also, if you often get fined, you risk your whole business.
If your FOGs cause problems in the sewer system and it damages the pipes, you will be the one who will pay the bills for all the repairs. Another severe thing that can happen is that people affected by the sewer problem your business caused can file a lawsuit against you.
Avoid keeping FOG in your sinks and dishwashers
It’s great to have a grease trap because your kitchen wouldn’t function as it is now without it. But what you can do to save it is to keep the pressure off of it. You can do it by avoiding keeping FOG in your sinks and dishwashers. It can be challenging, especially if you need to coordinate with many people, but you can do it. It’s not really that not even a tiny amount will end up in your sink or a dishwasher, but you can try to bring that amount to a minimum. You can do it by wiping FOG from your dishes before putting them in the sink and the dishwasher. With a system like this, you can reduce the FOG quantity that is going down to the grease trap. Another great hack you can do is install in-sink filters that will help stop the FOG from going down the drain.
Recycle cooking oil
If you are firm on keeping our environment safe and healthy, you can recycle your cooking oils. All of the used oils need to be in proper containers, and you should find the best place to send them for further recycling. People can use an oil like that for biodiesel fuel production or soap making.
Clean your kitchen exhaust system
The grease trap is not the only machine that helps you fight FOG in your kitchen. Exhaust systems are like heroes in disguise that everyone forgets about somehow. An exhaust system in a kitchen, especially a commercial one, is a vital component. But, like everything else, a system like this won’t be of much help, and it will even cause you problems if you don’t clean it regularly. Some parts you can easily clean by yourself, but other parts need to be cleaned professionally because that’s the safest practice. The crucial part of an exhaust system is the filters, and you should focus on them. If you don’t clean them regularly, you risk that the FOG that’s catching inside them gets outside, and you risk catching fire. Like that, it can also end up in the sewer system, and you don’t want that to happen either.
Invest the time in training your employees
The employees are a vital part of every kitchen because, without them, the kitchen wouldn’t function. Like we mentioned priorly, some grease traps you can clean by your employees. But for that to happen, the employees need to be adequately trained so that everything ends up smooth. You should also train the employees on handling cooking oil: both fresh oils, the used cooking oil, and the buildup grease. With proper training, the possibility of a hazard, an injury, or some severe problem is very low. By investing your time to train the employees, you invest in your kitchen and your business. And with that, your business will run smoothly, and when it runs smoothly, you will avoid paying fines and losing money.
For a commercial kitchen to run smoothly and avoid problems with oils, fats, and grease, it needs to have a grease trap and employees trained to handle cooking oils.