When joint industry committee, the FOG Forum, was established in 2010, it looked at how to develop the debate, discussion and actions relating to FOG management.
“CESA was a very active participant, our focus being to ensure that the technologies and their applications were better understood by foodservice operators, water companies and the design and installation companies,” recalled CESA chair, Simon Frost.
This work resulted in the British Water FOG Code of Practice, published at the beginning of this year. “We worked together with CEDA and the FCSI to ensure the objectivity and balance of the document,” Frost added.
“Misunderstandings relating to FOG and its effective management are common. CESA is committed to helping clarify the issues: the code of practice has been very well received by the industry.”
The forum is now at its next stage of development, with CESA director, Keith Warren, reporting: “Part of that is going to be reinvigorating the discussion at the forthcoming FOG Conference, using it as a platform for re-establishing the work of the group.”
The event will be held at Cranfield University on 17 September and will feature new research evidence from the USA, highlight advances in scientific thinking and technology around FOG and identify the needs for further work, bringing together expertise and understanding of kitchen owners and operators, kitchen designers and installers, solution providers, regulators and water companies.
Warren detailed that the conference will also discuss whether there is a need to develop standards for bio remediation and grease removal units, as at the moment they are only available for grease traps.
“FOG is a multi-faceted issue and it needs all of the interested parties to work collaboratively together to help provide better information for foodservice operators so that they can prevent as much FOG as possible entering the sewer,” he said.
“There’s also the issue of how you specify FOG treatment systems, the sort of equipment that’s available and how it needs to be serviced and maintained. There needs to be a greater clarity of knowledge and communication.
“Better understanding will prevent further misunderstandings and wasted costs. So dealers will know they are specifying based on good knowledge, and the requirements of the water company. We all need to understand what the expectations are at all levels of the supply chain and how systems work together because at the moment there just isn’t the availability of information.”
Frost added: “FOG can be created in the food preparation, cooking and warewashing phases – all need to be evaluated before an effective FOG removal system can be designed. In fact, any item of foodservice equipment has the potential to create FOG, even if it is not connected to the drains, and so needs to be part of the assessment.
“Some experts suggest that the most effective approach is to combine all three technologies that are available: a biological/bacteria dosing system, a grease recovery unit and a grease separator. It is essential that distributors liaise with the relevant water company to ensure that they approve the solutions proposed prior to installation, to avoid duplication of costs or misunderstandings.”