Fats, oils and grease

Prevent costly blockages on your premises and in your local area. Learn how to dispose of FOG properly.

FOG stands for fats, oils and grease and originate from food products such as butter, lard, vegetable oils, animal fats, meats, sauces and dairy products. They are generated during the preparation of food and from any cleaning/washing up processes. 

FOG usually comes from kitchens of Food Service Establishments (FSEs) where food is prepared, cooked or served. These include restaurants, takeaways, pubs which serve cooked food, cafés, coffee shops, hotels, B&Bs, convenience stores and supermarkets, garage forecourt shops with delicatessen counters, food production kitchens etc.

Blockages from FOG can result in raw sewage overflowing from sewers into business premises, public areas, streams or rivers causing an environmental and public health hazard.

Apply for a Fats, Oils & Grease Licence

The problem with FOG

Easy to pour down the drain

When fats, oils and grease are hot and are in liquid form, they pour easily down a drain or sink and appear harmless. However, when they cool, they solidify and build up inside the pipes causing serious blockages.

Not easy or cheap to remove

The removal of FOG from sewers is a difficult and expensive process. Irish Water is responsible for the operation and maintenance of public sewers. This includes clearing blockages in sewers caused by FOG. However, blockages in private drains connecting to the public sewer are the responsibility of the business/property owner.

Your liability in case of blockages

If FOG is discharged from your premises and causes blockages and flooding, you may be liable for covering the costs. This would include hiring specialist machinery, specialist personnel, loss of stock and premises clean up.

Prevent blockages

If you are operating to best practice, you should already have a grease trap or grease removal unit(s) fitted at your business premises. It’s important to ensure this trap/removal unit is the correct size and is kept fully serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.

Disposing of FOG

The do's

Follow our checklist and protect your drains from fats, oils and grease.

 

Wipe and scrape away waste

Wipe and scrape away waste

Wipe and scrape plates, pans and utensils into a suitable bin before washing

Collect all used cooking oil

Collect all used cooking oil

Collect the oil into a suitable container and arrange for its collection by an appropriately authorised collector

Use strainers

Use strainers

Make sure to use a strainer in sink plug holes, then empty into a suitable bin

Mop up grease spills

Mop up grease spills

Kitchen towel can be used to mop up grease spills and then put in an appropriate bin

Maintain grease trapping equipment

Maintain grease trapping equipment

Make sure your grease trapping equipment is properly maintained by kitchen staff/authorised contractors and maintenance details are recorded

Use dedicated wash-up sinks

Use dedicated wash-up sinks

It's best to clean all equipment in a dedicated wash-up sink

The don't

You should also be aware of what not to do when disposing of fats, oils and grease.

Don't pour FOG down the sink

Don't pour FOG down the sink

Fats, oils or grease shouldn't be put down the sink as they may cause issues when they harden

Don’t put scrapings into the sink

Don’t put scrapings into the sink

Food scrapings should be put into the bin rather than placed in the sink

Don’t use harmful chemicals

Don’t use harmful chemicals

You should never pour harmful chemicals down the sink or drain to try and dissolve fats, oils or grease

Don't pour FOG down the floor drain

Don't pour FOG down the floor drain

Pouring fats, oils or grease down your floor drain may also cause issues when they harden

Don’t use a single sink

Don’t use a single sink

Clean equipment in a separate sink to the one designated for food preparation

Don’t sweep waste into floor drains

Don’t sweep waste into floor drains

Kitchen waste should be colllected and put in the bin rather than swept into the drain