Restaurant owners face significant challenges when it comes to staying top rated. The food needs to be excellent, the service spot on and the atmosphere just perfect. It’s about the experience and you want return clientele that raves about you.
The last thing you want in your restaurant is an unpleasant smell, and this is actually a regular occurrence given what happens in kitchens across Australia.
When cleaning cooking utensils, crockery and equipment, residual Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) run down through the drains, sinks and dishwashers and can cause odours as well as pipe blockages, which can lead to flooding and result in expensive maintenance work.
FOG can also cause pollution to the environment and be a serious health risk. To prevent the pollution of FOG, there are regulations in Australia that must be followed. Commercial kitchen and food processing facilities are required to have grease traps or grease traps installed; otherwise they face severe legal ramifications. Regardless of the product type, they must be installed away from restaurant patrons, food preparation and cooking areas.
Whilst there are subtle differences between grease traps, traps and interceptors. The terms are often used interchangeably and we will not distinguish them in this article Maintaining your grease trap is very important.
You need to regularly have a good, hard look at the structure and check for cracks, chips, whether the lid fits and the quality of internal walls.
You need to have a look around the grease trap and make sure it is not becoming a home for rodents.
Yes, your grease trap is designed to stop FOG from entering places it shouldn’t – helping you keep things clean and tidy – but the grease trap itself needs attention and regular cleaning as well!
Local and state governments often check in on the state of grease traps, which is not such a bad thing – it’s important to know that when we go out to dine, the restaurant in question is living up to all the rules and regulations of health and safety.
Grease traps are certainly not the glamorous part of owning a successful restaurant but they are one of the most important.
ACO has developed and refined its Passavant range of gravity grease traps that support comprehensive FOG management in the commercial kitchen and food processing environment.
ACO offers below and above ground gravity traps compliant to various Australian Water Authorities and Councils and are constructed from tough, one-piece rotational moulded durable polyethylene with excellent corrosion resistance. These grease traps are designed to cater for various application requirements. Additionally, ACO’s below ground grease traps are purposefully engineered for load bearing applications.
Consider the following when choosing the most appropriate grease trap for the application:
- the location of existing pipework
- the available space for the grease trap
- building and construction constraints
- ease of access for waste disposal and maintenance
A regular cleaning and disposal procedure is critical for the ongoing efficiency of the grease trap. The maintenance is undertaken by a specialist waste management contractor. The frequency of service is stipulated in the maintenance agreement with the local water authority and will depend on the volume of FOG that is generated in a specified time period.
Before waste disposal and cleaning of the grease trap is undertaken, all kitchen operations must stop. The entire contents of the grease trap must be removed via the maintenance openings with a suction hose to the disposal truck.
When emptied, the tank must be cleaned manually using a high-pressure hose to remove all the residual FOG from the inside walls of the grease trap. Scraping may also be required. The cleaning water must also be removed from the grease trap. Finally, the grease trap must be refilled with water to two thirds of the volume of the trap from an on-site water supply.
It is advisable to install the grease trap as close as possible to the source of the grease to minimise the sediment build-up that would otherwise occur in long runs of pipe. However, to ensure food hygiene standards are maintained, grease traps should not be installed in close proximity to food preparation areas in kitchens and processing facilities.
It is also advisable to position the grease trap in a location that enables waste management vehicles to easily access and service the trap. Prior to the installation, contact the grease removal contractor to obtain a written agreement that the grease trap is serviceable.
Lipumax below ground grease traps require covers to enable access for maintenance. The covers must comply with specific load class regulations.
Inexperienced restaurant owners usually go through a very quick learning process when it comes to FOG management, but experienced restaurant owners can also be caught out by being complacent. That’s why it is important that they always remain on top of the issue.
Contact ACO today on 1300 765 226 to discuss your restaurant’s needs – the future of your business may depend on it.