What the law says

Under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991, it is a criminal offence to put anything down the drain likely to interfere with the free flow of its contents and Food Business Operator can face fines or even prosecution for failing to comply with this law.

Businesses could also lose sales due to forced temporary closure if their premises internally flood with sewage.

Thames Water will also seek to recover costs for clearing blockages. For these reasons, it is really important that Food business operators understand and are aware of the requirements for grease management.

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) are generated during the preparation, cooking and cleaning up of food, pots and pans, utensils, crockery and the kitchen itself. If FOG and leftover food go down your pipes, they will become solid and block your drains.

It is important that everyone working for you knows the best way to manage your kitchen’s waste. Training employees and helping them understand the need for grease management and good kitchen practice can really help to prevent blockages in your business’s pipes.

Our best advice

  • scrape any leftover food into the bin and wipe pots, pans and utensils with paper towels before washing up
  • use sink strainers in plug holes
  • install a Grease Removal Unit or Grease Separator as a form of grease management to prevent FOG reaching your waste pipes
  • clean and maintain any grease management equipment regularly
  • collect leftover FOG in an airtight container and arrange for it to be collected by a licensed waste contractor
  • keep a record of grease management maintenance and FOG waste collection dates
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Find out best practices from Thames Water

Download posters to erect in your kitchen and a booklet for your staff.

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