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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)

Pipe clogged with FOG

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.

FOG Includes:

  • Cooking Oil and Cooking Grease
  • Meat Fats
  • Lard/Shortening
  • Butter/Margarine
  • 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:

 

Pour cooled oil and grease into a container, store in the freezer to solidify, then throw into the trash.

 

Use a sink strainer to catch the scraps when peeling, slicing, and cutting vegetables for vegetable trays, potato salad or soups.

Never use the garbage disposal. Throw food scraps in the trash or compost them.

Before washing dishes, scrape or wipe leftover food, batters and dressing into the trash can.

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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
(530) 841-2386

Contact us for more information.