Storage and disposal of oil, fat and grease – Bar & Kitchen

Storage and disposal of oil, fat and grease

Not only is it a legal requirement but poor oil management affects the quality of your food

There are legal implications and there are taste implications. Handle fat incorrectly and you could be liable to fines: from health and safety implications of spills to the environmental catastrophe of drains blocked with so-called ‘fatbergs’.

Jim Wiseman of Arrow Oils (which helps restaurant owners use, store and dispose of their cooking oils responsibly and economically), says how you use fats in your kitchen can make a huge difference.

Man cleaning oil from pan

Avoid bad smells

“Frying and cooking food in the correct oil and correct temperature with the right level of control will make your food taste and look so much better,” he says. “If you neglect your oils, the smell and the smoke alone is enough to put customers off.”
“It is an environmental health legal requirement to have a record of who’s collected the cooking oil and what it is being recycled into, or what happens to it. It’s just not sensible to cut any corners here”


You can use companies who will filter your oil and clean it up but, once the cooking oil is past its best, it’s far better to refresh completely and start with good quality fresh oil.

During frying, if debris and food particles are carefully sieved or skimmed out and the oil is continually monitored, you can get a bit more life out of it.



Empty and clean fryers regularly. If very busy, it could be necessary every few days as it depends on the condition and usage of cooking oil on a daily basis.

Use grease traps as they can be a good investment. These are systems that take in wastewater containing fat, oil and grease, and separate the water from the fats.

Keep your cooking area safe from spills.

Spend time getting it clean – but take care what you use. Some cleaning products can corrupt the cooking oil.



Collect fats, oil and grease waste in sealed (leakproof) containers such as plastic drums, tins or barrels to prevent odours and to avoid attracting vermin.

Store containers in a secure area away from all drains to prevent container spills and leaks from causing water pollution.



When getting rid of your used fats, it’s essential – and a legal requirement – to do it properly. Failure to use a licensed waste collector and to keep documentation of waste disposal is an offence.

Don’t dispose of oil, fat and grease with your other waste. Contractors may refuse to remove it.

Don’t pour waste fats, oils and grease down drains. As well as blockages, this leads to odour and vermin problems.

Don’t take used cooking oil to household waste recycling centres. These sites do not usually accept business waste.

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