Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)
Information on FOG Prevention
Introduction to FOG Article (PDF, 80 KB)
Kitchen Best Management Practices for FOG Prevention (PDF, 86 KB)
Food Service (Serving) Establishment FOG Program (PDF, 30 KB)
National Restaurant Association FOG Tool Kit (PDF, 1.8 MB)
What is FOG?
Fats, oils and grease (FOG) is a by product of food preparation. FOG especially comes from cooking or preparing food with animal products, as well as preparing/cooking fried and fatty foods.
- Cooking Oil and Cooking Grease
- Meat Fats
- Food Scraps
- Dairy Products
- Batters and Icing
- Dressings and Sauces
What Are Some Problems Caused by Excessive FOG?
FOG, when it is put down drains in excessive amounts, coats the inside of pipes and gradually builds up till it blocks the flow of wastewater. FOG build up requires extra cleaning in sewer lines by City crews, and has caused blockages and sewer overflows in Yreka. FOG also puts a greater strain on the City's wastewater treatment plant.
How You Can Prevent Excessive FOG From Going Down Your Drain
Fats, oils and grease deposits which cause blockages and overflows in sanitary sewer lines are a State and Nation-wide concern. The California FOG Workgroup and the National Restaurant Association suggest that the most effective and least costly ways of preventing FOG deposits are dry cleanup in kitchens and solid waste disposal or recycling of waste grease. Kitchen best management practices (BMPs) are recommended as follows:
- Avoid pouring excess or waste fats, oils and grease down the drain. Instead, dispose in the garbage or as solid waste.
- Scrape and dry clean service ware, utensils and cooking equipment before washing, and dispose of debris in the garbage or as solid waste.
- Limit the use of garbage disposals to non-greasy food materials such as fruits and vegetables.
For commercial kitchens in restaurants or institutions:
- Clean FOG in screens and filters with paper, fabric or granular material, away from drains, and dispose of as solid waste.
- Contain FOG spills before going into drains, clean-up with paper, fabric or granular material, and dispose of as solid waste.
Food Service Establishment (FSE) FOG Program
Yreka has over 80 food service establishments with kitchens, and over 40 of them have high or medium FOG problem potential. FOG potential is determined by the number customers, meals served, and menu items that include significant fats, oils and grease in ingredients or preparation. The FOG Source Control Program focuses special attention on these FSEs.
FOG build up is particularly hazardous for FSEs because they can cause:
- Blocked sewer lines which can cause raw sewage overflows in and around the FSE
- Rancid Odors
- Expensive cleanup, repair and replacement of damaged property
In order to prevent excessive fog build ups, commercial or institutional FSEs, in addition to kitchen best management practices, need to collect and dispose of waste grease. Food-grade (yellow) grease should be collected and recycled. Waste (brown) grease should be collected in grease interceptor vaults or grease traps, and hauled and disposed of by State registered transporters.
The California Building Code requires that all new or remodeled kitchens in food serving establishments install waste grease collection equipment. Some older commercial kitchens also have grease traps or vaults, although they are not mandatory. As part of the FOG Source Control Program, the City will assist these older existing FSEs, where possible, to install waste grease collection equipment. In addition, special FOG education materials will be distributed to all high and medium potential restaurants and institutions.
For more information about how your FSE can reduce FOG, contact:
City of Yreka
Public Works Department
Contact us for more information.