EXCLUSIVE: Suppliers unite to clear up confusion around kitchen grease

Manufacturers of grease removal units have agreed to put aside their competitive differences for the good of the industry and develop a FOG code of practice, FEJ can reveal.

Suppliers belonging to the CESA FOG group met last week and sanctioned plans to draw up a document that will provide operators and kitchen designers with a clearer picture of the solutions for managing fats, oils and grease.

The first drafts of the code are expected to be ready before the spring.

Hospitality businesses have been blamed for contributing to the 350,000 blockages that UK water and sewerage companies are forced to deal with each year. Almost £90m is spent annually on reactive blockage clearance nationwide, with further costs for clean-up after flooding incidents.

Keith Warren, director of CESA, said the code would bring greater transparency to the topic and give restaurant businesses clearer guidance on the equipment available to them to ensure best practice.

“The group agreed to develop a document that would help operators, designers, consultants and installers to better understand the operational characteristics of fats and grease management and removal technologies,” he said. “They evaluated the standards that exist around the world, in order to try to recognise any shortcomings and to propose a document that is fit for purpose.”

Mr Warren added that the document would also effectively “validate” the performance of products, so that informed decisions can be made by buyers and specifiers.

Last year Thames Water removed a 250-metre long fatberg clogging up a sewer under London’s Whitechapel Road. It said restaurants and food outlets were partially to blame for the blockage despite running a campaign to educate the foodservice industry on managing FOG produced by professional kitchens.

And in 2016, a Staffordshire restaurant was prosecuted by Severn Trent and fined more than £5,000 after its poor FOG practices led to nearby businesses being unable to flush their toilets.

FEJ has published a special report into FOG in commercial kitchens, exploring the challenges that restaurant operators face in terms of grease management.

SPECIAL REPORT: Why is the issue of FOG so cloudy for restaurant operators?

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