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3 Smart Ways to Manage Your Restaurant's Grease-Retention Equipment

food traps box

Does your restaurant use grease traps or grease interceptors in your daily operation? Grease management is easier when you practice good habits in the kitchen and maintain your grease-handling fixtures. Here are three wise ways your food-service facility should handle grease and grease-capturing equipment.

1. Understand the Reasons for Grease Retention

People who pour grease, fats, and oils down the drains in commercial and residential buildings could see their work featured in museum exhibits. That's because greases, oils, and fats coagulate inside pipes and sewers and create gigantic blockages.

One such blockage, termed a fatberg, is being installed in the London Museum. People may now marvel at the creation their plumbing-related carelessness caused.

If you don't want your restaurant to be remembered as a contributor to a fatberg in your town, never pour grease, fats, or oil down a drain without a grease trap or interceptor. Your drainpipes will stay clean and unclogged, your kitchen won't stink, and you won't attract pests and diseases to your business.

2. Know the Code Where You Operate

If you've lost your copy of rules concerning grease-catching equipment, ask the health inspector or health department in your jurisdiction for a copy of the codes. They may have copies to hand out, e-mail, or mail to you. They can also direct you where to find the rules online.

If your restaurant is located within the Metro Nashville-Davidson County boundaries, your kitchen grease is governed by the Fats, Oils, and Grease Management Policy (FOG program.) Your grease control equipment (GCE), grease interceptors (GI), and grease traps must be approved and inspected by Metro Water Services.

You must also keep accurate records of the cleaning and maintenance of your GCE, noting the following:

  • Date and time of service or cleaning

  • Name of person/company performing work

  • Amount of grease and waste removed

You must retain these records for at least three years, and have them available on your premises to show to the Metro Health Department.

As you can see, the rules require attention to detail. Learn the rules where your business is located to be in compliance with grease-related codes. Your diligence helps you avoid fines or other penalties.

3. Institute Your Own Penalties

Some employees are stubborn, or they believe that it won't hurt to pour just a little bit of grease down the sink. Provide thorough, adequate training to all of your staff about their role in grease management. Include information about the ecological and health ramifications of pouring grease down the drain.

Teach staff not to wash greasy mats or pots in sinks without grease traps. In addition, educate on greasecapturing techniques, including how to:

  • Dry-wipe greasy pans before washing

  • Use intact containers with good seals

  • Clean grills and floor mats in mop sink

  • Use screens in sink drains for food bits

Post signs throughout the kitchen to remind staff about where and where not to pour grease, fats, and oils. Also, post the penalties your restaurant will pay if you break the rules with your greasy waste.

Monitor staff and be strict about compliance. Institute your own penalties for chronic grease-pourers, like a note in the employee record, assignment to unpopular tasks, or a short suspension. When you take the rules seriously, your staff is likely to do the same.

A positive reward program is also a good incentive for employees. Promise bonuses if your next drain inspection comes back clean and the employees maintain the kitchen GCE in good working condition. Or offer cash, merchandise, or meal prizes to workers who keep your kitchen grease under control.

Contact A-1 Brown Plumbing Repair to inspect your grease traps and grease interceptors. We offer expert plumbing services to restaurants throughout Greater Nashville, including establishments in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, and Williamson Counties.

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