Food businesses

Fat, oil and grease (FOG) can be bad news for businesses that prepare and sell a lot of food, such as pubs, restaurants and takeaways.

A build-up of FOG in pipes can lead to blocked drains and overflowing sinks and toilets, either on the premises or in the neighbourhood. This can be costly to put right and you may even have to close while repair work is carried out.


COVID-19 – closure and re-opening tips for food services establishments (FSEs)

Many food businesses were forced to close at short notice and their kitchens have been left unused for a while. This may have caused drains to block, equipment to jam or hazardous bacteria (like legionella) to spread. Read our tips to protect your business, equipment and customers:

Download our leaflet – COVID-19: tips for food service establishments


Do you know the law about FOG?

Not only can blockages flood your premises, you could risk prosecution if your business disposes of FOG carelessly.

Businesses are required by law to make sure their waste does not block or damage the sewer network, under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

In addition, the Building Regulations (page 14) state that FSEs (Food Service Establishments) should have a grease separator fitted to drains serving kitchens, or other effective means of removing grease.

Managing FOG in your kitchen

Protective measures can include installing equipment, such as grease traps, to stop fat, oil and grease entering the sewer network and training staff in the safest ways to dispose of waste.

Simple changes in behaviour, such as putting all food waste in the bin rather than down the sink and using sink strainers, can also make a difference.

We've prepared some tips to help food service establishments (FSEs):

Download our information for FSEs leaflet

Download posters for your workplace kitchen

In addition, British Water has produced a Code of Practice for food businesses to dispose safely of waste.

Could your kitchen waste be fuel?

Fat and oil can be recycled to produce fuel, which can then be used to generate electricity. Many companies offer a free fat and oil collection service. Just make sure the company you use is registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency.

New food waste regulations are coming in 2023. Under these rules, FOG will be classed as food waste and collected by local authorities to be turned into energy – ask your local authority about collections in your area.

In addition, several of our sites accept a range of commercial, non-hazardous, liquid waste:

Check which of our reception sites accept food waste



Repeat blockages fell by nearly 25%
from over 2,300 businesses

last year, after our visits


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