Your kitchen is the beating heart of your restaurant, from a burger bar to a five star. From pan searing to deep frying, oil and grease are a part of your kitchen. However, when improperly handled or stored, they can become a hazard to both your employees and the health of your kitchen. This article looks at three of the most common oil and grease hazards that can happen in the kitchen of a restaurant, and the best ways of cleaning them up as well as avoiding them in the first place.
Cleaning Up Spilt Oil
The area around any fryer can become a dangerous one, especially due to leaks or improper servicing. Once oil gets on your kitchen’s floors, it can be very hard to remove with traditional soap and water, and meanwhile is turning your kitchen floor into a hazard. Make sure to follow these practices:
- Make sure the fryer is being operated and serviced correctly, and that the oil is being properly stored when drained.
- Invest in grease and oil absorbing granules (most kitchen supply stores carry them): these absorb the grease providing an easier-to-clean solution, as well as making the kitchen quickly safe from slips.
Stopping Grease Fires
Grease fires are the reason most kitchens contain fire suppression and sprinkler systems: they are dangerous fires that can be hard to put out by hand. The two major hotspots are stovetops and the fryer.
- Make sure your fryer and stovetop are not adjacent (if they are, install a divider) to avoid oil splatter near open flames.
- Most common oil fires are from oil-heavy pans that are left unattended: make sure you’ve always got someone in the kitchen when things are cooking.
- Wipe down areas (such as stoves and fryer surfaces) regularly to avoid build-up of oil near open flames.
- If a fire occurs, NEVER use water to put it out. Use a fire extinguisher or activate your kitchen’s fire suppression system.
Avoiding FOGS Blockages
FOGS stands for Fat Oils Grease and Solids, and adheres to the inside of your kitchen’s pipes, causing blockages that can reduce or even halt the flow of wastewater out of your kitchen, which could spell disaster. Make sure all your employees (especially your dishwashers) are familiar with these best practices:
- Scrap dishes, pots, and pans in the garbage before washing to reduce the food that makes it into the sink.
- Avoid overusing the garbage disposal to prevent solids and emulsified oils entering your pipes.
- Make sure your sinks are equipped with grease interceptors to trap solids and soils for quick cleaning.
We hope we’ve shed some light on safety with oil and grease in the kitchen. At Food Grease Trappers we understand that install grease traps and interceptors is more than just a requirement for your restaurant: it’s common sense for your kitchen’s health, as well as your city’s pipes. Contact us for help with getting grease out of your kitchen, from grease trap installation and servicing to waste vegetable oil removal.