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Commercial Fats, Oils and Grease

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is FOG?
A. FOG stands for Fats, Oil and Grease. It is a byproduct of cooking and includes oils, animal fats and vegetable fats.

Q. Why is FOG an issue for my business?
A. FOG resulting from restaurants and other food service establishments accumulates in sewer pipes causing blockages and backups. Restaurants and other food service establishments can be held financially responsible for the damages resulting from blockages and can even be shut down. All restaurants and other food service establishments receive regular inspections.

Q. Who is required to participate in the FOG Program?
A. Any restaurant or food service establishment, institutional or commercial kitchen that is connected to the sewer system is required to participate in the FOG program. This includes ice cream parlors, sandwich shops, and coffee and smoothie shops. They are included because of the use of oils and dairy products.

Q. What are the requirements for my facility?
A. You must have a properly functioning grease trap. You are responsible for timely cleaning and maintenance of the grease trap.

Q. What will the FOG inspectors be looking for?
A. The FOG inspectors inspect the sewer system for FOG accumulation. They will verify that the establishment is using adequately sized FOG abatement devices, and that they are properly cleaned and maintained. If no FOG abatement device is present, the owner may be required to install one.

Q. What is the best way to dispose of FOG? Can I use any additives or enzymes?
A. Contact a commercial hauler or recycler to set up a schedule for pick up. Do not use additives and enzymes. They act to break up the grease temporarily and allow it to pass through the grease interceptor, but once in the sewer system, the grease congeals and causes blockages.

Q. What are Best Management Practices (BMP)?
A. BMP are the requirements used to minimize the grease and solids build up in your grease trap. Following BMP will reduce the plumbing expenses and disposal costs associated with the materials removed from the grease traps.

Q. What records should I be maintaining?
A. The Environmental Health Food Program within the Health Department has all the details for required records.

Revised November 15, 2016         


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