How did the implementation of the Food Act 2014 in March 2016 affect your business? Is it compliant?

Kitchen equipment necessary for the production of safe and suitable food, must be kept in excellent condition at all times, fully maintained, cleaned and serviced regularly. This also includes that contraption under the sink – the kitchen waste water interceptor.

What does servicing mean? Servicing the Waste Water Interceptor can mean different things to different people. Some think if it has been pumped out, it has been serviced. Each brand or model has its own rules, and the operator’s manual guides you through the necessary servicing required for that type of interceptor, to maximise its effectiveness and efficiency.

Most systems require some sort of daily, weekly monthly, quarterly or six-monthly maintenance to keep them operating effectively, whether it be manual in terms of emptying, cleaning, dosing, or automatically dosing. Whether it is an external Grease Trap or an under-bench FOG Interceptor, whatever brand, it will need care and feeding to keep it running effectively. You can contact the Compliance/Trade Waste Officer to find out the necessary service procedures required to meet Council regulations. Always make sure the dosing product being used meets the requirements of the interceptor – any deviations or shortcuts will ultimately cause issues. The reliability and track record of a Grease Interceptor is an important consideration for any food service provider.

With improved kitchen practices, such as scraping waste from plates and cutlery into the rubbish, recycling fats and oils separately from the other waste, and never disposing of this into sinks and drains, business owners can help to improve the efficiency of their Grease Interceptor.

Regular six-monthly inspections identify possible issues which if not now, in time will cause breakdowns, blockages, stoppages and that odour! Maintenance in terms of its mechanics is a must, as screws can be loose, rubber seals can be worn, waste can be trapped in the connections, the power plug may be damaged and more – all possible. This then creates delays in performance, a call out fee, non-operational time while someone fixes it – all this unplanned cost to the business.

Councils are becoming more involved in the regulation of interceptors and are visiting sites to check that servicing has been completed. If you haven’t met your Council Compliance Officer yet, you may soon. They will need to see the service and maintenance records for the interceptor, including who provides the services, the schedule and the frequency. Some councils require six-monthly inspection reports to be sent through to them for their files. Records must be kept for four years and non-compliant operators could face disconnection of the interceptor because if anything goes wrong, and food becomes unsafe or unsuitable, owners will need to be able to show accurate records as part of their Food Control Plan.

For more information contact ecoworld on 0800 109 202.