Used Grease and Cooking Oils

Grease and used cooking oil: if you own a restaurant, you probably produce plenty of these as a byproduct of cooking. You may already know that grease traps are an important way to filter these out from your wastewater. But did you know that the used grease and oils they collect are actually quite useful and sought after? Let’s take a deeper dive into used restaurant grease and oils. 

Uses for Grease and Oils 

There are around 4.4 billion pounds of used cooking oil generated by the food service industry each year in North America alone. Up until the 1990’s, these byproducts were primarily used in the rendering industry. Cleaned and processed oils are useful for everything from animal feed to paint and plastics, and people in the industry pursued these uses for years. But in the 1990’s, another use emerged: biofuel. When properly cleaned and filtered, used oils and greases can be converted into valuable fuel. The rendering industry began to use the oil in mass for biofuels, with significant positive effects. For one, reusing old oils and grease is cheaper than relying on new fuel. Plus, the low carbon biofuel is just as effective as diesel fuel, but with up to 85% fewer carbon emissions.

With a clear benefit to reusing these oils, an industry continued to develop. There have actually been government mandates for refineries that require a certain amount of biofuel to be added to petroleum fuels too. These factors and others have led to a high value on used restaurant oils and grease. 

The Rise of the Grease Thief

With soaring value came an opportunity for unsavory thievery. More and more people with an eye for the rising market value began to steal used restaurant grease. They found plenty of opportunity, with lots of businesses storing their byproducts in traps or interceptors outside their buildings. When unsecured, this makes for an easy target and payday on this new liquid gold. 

Of course, selling requires a buyer. Unfortunately, there seem to be plenty of people willing to look the other way on the source of used oils and grease. While many biofuel companies perform their due diligence to vet potential sellers, some have not worked hard enough to help weed out illegitimate sales. Companies have faced some pressure to start examining sources more rigorously. 

What This Means for Restaurants

Fortunately, there’s a lot restaurants can do to help prevent this theft. Monitoring trap and interceptor levels between servicing is an important way to tell if there has been any theft. Plus, they can even install fences and other security measures to obscure access and ensure protection. They can also move their infrastructure to indoor traps to add a lot of security. 

Don’t forget- just as security is crucial, so is a regular maintenance schedule! Moon Grease Traps offers servicing for grease interceptors and traps at any establishment. From a single grease trap, to one per sink in larger establishments, to an outdoor interceptor, we have you covered. Schedule your next grease service by contacting Moon Grease Trap Cleaning at 502-453-0154. We are happy to answer any and all questions you may have!

Grease Trap Cleaning with ProVac

5 Helpful Tips To Keep Your Commercial Kitchen Clean

Looking to keep your commercial kitchen clean?

 

As a restaurant owner, you know that your establishment is judged by the quality of your service and food. Unsanitary conditions in food prep and cooking areas can prove to be hazardous not just for your customers but employees too. Surfaces, equipment, and areas that have been poorly cleaned can quickly become the perfect environment for foodborne pathogens, bacteria, and mold to breed very rapidly. That can result in dwindling customers and revenue, accidents, injuries, illnesses as well as a loss of productivity. This is why it’s essential to keep your commercial kitchen as clean as possible.

 

Commercial kitchens can be chaotic, and at the end of the day, it can seem impossible to clean thoroughly. Most staff members that work in commercial kitchens find cleaning these spaces a daunting task. Some may even end up cutting corners in their work. When tasks are either improperly done or overlooked, it can result in problems down the road. If you are struggling to know what steps to follow to keep your commercial kitchen thoroughly clean, here are some useful tips:

 

Tip #1: Train Your Team To Clean

If you opt to keep the cleaning tasks in-house rather than hiring commercial cleaners, it is important to have a checklist and appropriate training so that your team members know how to clean. While most have likely had experience cleaning a household kitchen, keeping a commercial kitchen clean is a much bigger job. Following a proven process is advisable so that every aspect of the job gets done consistently and in a timely manner. This includes a detailed list of tasks that keep your kitchen sanitized and hygienic at all times. A clean kitchen is a reflection of the professionalism of your business and its focus on excellence.

 

Tip #2 Clean Out All The Trash Every Day

Trash can build up pretty quickly in commercial kitchens. There are a lot of food scraps, green waste, and packaging that get discarded into the bins during the food prep process as well as leftovers from the dining areas. It doesn’t take long for the bins to overflow, and the trash needs to be cleaned out regularly in the right manner, or it will send out a wrong message to your customers. Make sure certain staff members are given the job of cleaning the trash can with regularity. It is equally important to have the cans adequately cleaned and dried before replacing the bags. That will help to get rid of any foul smell that arises from the garbage.

 

Tip #3: Dust & Mop All Areas Promptly and Properly

If you do not have carpeted floors in your restaurant, it’s crucial that you dust and mop all areas properly. Make sure that someone sweeps the floors regularly as that will remove all the dust and debris. After that, a good mopping will help ensure that all the floor surfaces are thoroughly clean. You can use a mix of water and soap during mopping. The floor will have to be mopped again to ensure that there is no soapy residue. You can add a disinfectant in the final mopping stage.

 

Tip #4: Clean Cooking Equipment Regularly

The simplest way to maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen equipment is to clean all spills when they occur. However, in busy kitchens with lots of orders and the hustle and bustle, this might not always be possible. In these situations, you’d have to use commercial-grade cleaners and non-abrasive pads to clean all the equipment at the end of each day. Make sure you use organic cleaners for cleaning all equipment surfaces as well as counter tops. This will help ensure that no toxic substances are lingering in your kitchen.

 

Tip #5: Clean Out Your Commercial Refrigeration Units

Establish a checklist for cleaning a commercial refrigeration unit. This may include tasks like emptying shelves, wiping and disinfecting shelving units, disposing of any expired or moldy foods, and vacuuming components.

 

Tip #6: Make Sure To Clean Out Your Grease Traps

Commercial kitchens have grease traps or grease interceptors to catch as much grease and waste as possible before going down the disposal. These systems need to be cleaned out on a regular scheduled basis. The frequency of grease trap cleaning in part depends on the volume of food your kitchen produces and also the types of foods. Many commercial kitchens need grease trap cleaning on a monthly basis. While this is something that can be done in house, hiring a grease trap cleaning service is typically easier. The contents of the grease traps need to be handled and disposed of according to specific regulations, which may be more difficult to deal with in house.

 

Companies like Moon Grease Trap Cleaning are here to help you with this component of your clean kitchen. For more details, call 502-453-0135.