GREASE IS THE WORD: Decommissioning grease management systems to prolong their life when kitchens reopen

Grill in kitchen

The Grease Contractors Association (GCA) has issued important advice to foodservice establishments on how to safely decommission their kitchen grease management systems.

The GCA is a non-profit organisation of specifiers, installers, maintainers and manufacturers of grease management systems, administered by trade association British Water.

Its equipment preservation guidance has been sent to industry trade associations and sets out steps that can be taken, if safe to do so, to protect equipment while businesses are closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Lila Thompson, chair of the GCA and chief executive of British Water, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak is having an unprecedented impact on the foodservice industry and the thoughts of GCA members are with FSEs and their customers at this time.

“This advice is intended to prolong the life of kitchen grease management systems, so they will be ready to use safely when restaurant and cafe doors reopen. If it is safe to do so, taking these steps now will ensure a smoother recommissioning process when the foodservice sector is back in business.”


Bio Dosing Pumps 

There are no issues with bio dosing the drain during closure. However, it is recommended that the product container be removed from the kitchen, when empty, so that a new full container can be issued by your contractor when you reopen the kitchen.

Grease Removal Units

Given the very short notice and projected length of the closure of the hospitality sector, GRUs which have not been fully mothballed by draining away waste water, removing trapped waste food and effectively had a complete clean down are likely to present a number of problems during the next few weeks. These include a build-up of hazardous bacteria, foul and penetrating odours and possible rodent attraction.

To reduce this, it would be advisable to:


– Clean out food straining basket

– Clean internal plates in unit

– Empty food basket


– Run water through the device at least every other day for around 3-4 minutes.


– Switch off all electric supply to the unit. Your grease trap should be full of water before shutdown. Please ask a certified grease contractor to send an engineer to service the GRU within one month of the facility opening again.

Passive Traps

These units will begin to smell if left unattended. All internal grease traps should be cleaned out by a certified grease contractor engineer as leaving organic material in the traps will encourage septic action resulting in mal odour and bacteria build-up that could be hazardous to health and chances of blockages at start up.

If this is not possible it would be a good idea to run water through the trap for 3-4 minutes to reduce the chance of odours due to anaerobic digestion of residual organic material.


It is expected that there will be a massive service backlog when the closures of FSEs are lifted which may well delay kitchen openings.

Please be aware that not taking the closure advice could potentially lead to more difficult and lengthy servicing of your equipment depending on what is found.

Staff Training – first and foremost – make sure staff are drain aware and fat, oils and grease (FOG) aware before re-opening. Consider whether to install a grease management system prior to re-opening.


– Run water in the sinks for at least 3 minutes. Your grease trap should be full of water before starting operation again.


– Switch Grease Trap ON at the power socket.

Check and flush customer/staff toilets several times with no paper, etc to ensure they are still flowing.

BEST PRACTICE: How to correctly mothball catering appliances during a period of closure

Tags : best practiceGrease Contractors Associationgrease traps
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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