We’re helping the food industry dispose of FOG

(fat, oil, and grease)

blocked sewers in 2022
blockages caused by fat, oil and grease
of FOG per business per year
spent on blockages per year

We’re working with food businesses like yours

See how one business in Devon has been working hard to ensure their kitchen staff dispose of FOG correctly – to help protect their business, the local community, and the environment.

Picture of a grease blockage
The fight against FOG

Why worry about FOG?

If FOG leaves your kitchen and enters our sewers, it solidifies and sticks to other items that shouldn’t be down there, like food debris and wet wipes. This can cause a blockage, stopping wastewater from reaching our treatment works. With nowhere else to go, this wastewater can travel back into people’s properties or spill out into the streets.
Picture of a full grease trap
The fight against FOG

How FOG problems can affect your food business

A FOG blockage can cause avoidable damage and distress – not to mention cost. This can affect your business through:

  • Lost sales because of foul odours
  • Forced closure because of vermin infestations or a sewer flood
  • The cost of fixing the blockage
  • Property damage repairs
  • Fines or prosecution because of a compliance breach
Two staff members at Plymouth Hoe
The fight against FOG

What we’re doing to help the food industry

We’ve teamed up with our colleagues at ECAS to visit food service establishments (FSEs) in Devon and Cornwall, especially those based in blockage hotspot areas. These are places where blockages have been causing repeated problems – a sign that commercial kitchen staff might be misusing our sewers in that area.


Who are ECAS?
Picture of a kitchen inspector
The fight against FOG

Our visits to commercial kitchens

If we visit your commercial kitchen, an environmental inspector will ask you to show them how you’re currently disposing of your FOG. They’ll check what grease-trapping equipment you have already and whether it’s sufficient for the type and quantity of food you serve. They’ll also recommend any further actions you must take to become compliant.
Picture of a pile of pound coins
The fight against FOG

Passing operational costs to food businesses

By law, food businesses must ensure their waste doesn’t block or damage the sewer network. If we’ve had to unblock or repair our sewers because you haven’t disposed of your FOG properly, we might ask you to pay for the costs involved.

Know the legal position

Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence to put anything into the sewer which is likely to damage it, restrict or block its flow, or affect the treatment and disposal of its contents.

Know the legal position image

All about grease traps

A wide range of grease-trapping solutions is available to food businesses nationwide, including grease separators, passive grease traps, and grease recovery units.

As the name grease-trap suggests, they help trap your FOG so it remains in your commercial kitchen and doesn’t escape into our sewers. 

The Food Service Equipment Association worked with water companies to produce a handy guide to FOG management. You can read it by clicking the link below.

Guide to FOG management

Ways to change your kitchen practices to stop blockages

Picture of a clean grease trap
Make the change

Invest in the right equipment

  • Do use the right-sized grease trap, a sink strainer, a food filter, and a sediment peeler (if appropriate) to prevent fat and food debris – including starch and peelings – from going down the drain
  • Do connect dishwashers directly to the sewer network to bypass any internal grease traps you might have
  • Don't use food macerators as they put food debris into our sewers
  • Don’t use biological dosing systems as your only means of grease mitigation.
Picture of a full dirty grease trap
Make the change

Look after your grease trap

Taking proper care of your grease trap means it will work the way it’s designed to. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for emptying, cleaning, and servicing your equipment. It’s worth building this task into your regular kitchen routine. You can then rest assured that the equipment is still removing FOG before it gets into the sewers.

Picture of oil storage containers
Make the change

Store your used cooking oil (UCO) safely

Did you know that many waste-oil recycling companies are prepared to pay a good price for high-quality used oil? Store your UCO safely (away from the drains) in a sealed container. Then, when it’s full, arrange for a registered waste carrier to collect it (keep the waste transfer note they give you as a record). It’s an easy way to make a bit of extra cash.
Picture of dirty plates
Make the change

Scrape and wipe before you wash

Scrape any food debris off dirty plates and pans into a bin and dry-wipe them before rinsing them or putting them in the dishwasher. This stops any residual grease and food debris from being washed down the drain and causing a blockage. Remember, cleaning wipes go in the bin too.
Picture of kitchen staff
Make the change

Train your kitchen staff

Train your kitchen staff to adopt and champion best kitchen practices to stop FOG from entering the sewers and causing a blockage. Put signage around your commercial kitchen to remind them what they should and shouldn’t be doing and explain the reasons why.

It’s not just FOG

Remember, if you use blue roll or cleaning wipes in your commercial kitchen, please put them in the bin after you’ve used them and not down your loo. Wipes, blue roll, and FOG can create fatbergs in the pipes that block our sewers.

It’s not just FOG image