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Whether you’re kick-starting a brand-new eatery or operating a restaurant that’s always busy, much of your focus will be drawn to menu planning, promotion and food sourcing. It’s easy to neglect some of the less-engaging elements of owning a food service establishment – such as governmental regulations. But these regulations play a major role in the long-term success of your business, and if you don’t follow the applicable guidelines, you run the risk of getting into serious and costly trouble. Here, we’ll explore how kitchen grease regulations may affect your business.

Why Is Kitchen Grease So Heavily Regulated?

Cooking oils and kitchen grease aren’t toxic like petroleum oil, so it’s easy to see why you’d expect them to face less strict regulations. But the reality is that both substances fall under 40 CFR 112, an EPA rule that outlines strict standards for both petroleum-based and non-petroleum oils. Why all of these substances can lead to a host of similar effects that can negatively impact the environment.

According to the EPA, these effects include:

  • Destruction of natural life, including plants and animals
  • Interruption of ecosystems through damage to food supplies and habitats
  • Production of foul odors
  • And much more…

What Kind of Regulations Apply?

Cooking oil use and kitchen grease management is often regulated on a municipal level. Many jurisdictions require food service establishments to have grease traps installed and provide proof of regular cleanings from licensed service providers. There are several federal rules that also come into play. The Facility Response Plan Rule requires facilities that handle animal fats and vegetable oils to create a precise plan for emergencies related to oil discharge. Then, there’s the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rule, which lays out additional requirements based on the Edible Oil Regulatory Reform Act (EORRA).

Curious about cooking oil regulations specific to the Portland, Oregon area? Check up on the city’s fats, oils and greases FAQs.

What Happens When Businesses Don’t Comply?

If you’re not certain what happens when a business fails to comply with kitchen grease-related regulations, the answer is fairly simple – the business is fined. Fines are based on the severity of the company’s missteps and the effects of those missteps, but can often involve thousands of dollars in penalties. This can deal serious damage to a small business.

Keep Compliant with Help from a Preferred Pumper

As a Preferred Pumper, SeQuential is committed to helping your business follow regulations while keeping your grease trap clean. Learn more about how our used cooking oil collection and grease trap cleaning services transform your waste into clean-burning renewable fuel, or contact us at 1 (800) 447-3794 to sign up today.

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