By Rick Stier
Sustainability is the new buzzword in the food processing industry, and integral parts of that are recycling and making more efficient use of resources. People act as if this is new, but it’s really not.
During the Second World War, the United States and other nations all practiced recycling including the recycling of food wastes. Restaurants and individual consumers were encouraged to recycle used grease among other things. Why grease? It was used for munitions, which leads us into the discussion of how restaurant operators can better manage their grease and oil.
Let’s start with grease. Most restaurants have one or more griddles where foods such as hamburgers, bacon, steaks, chicken, and other foods are prepared. These foods may be cooked in their own fat or have oil added. In addition, because cooking renders fat from the meats, there is always a significant amount of fat that accumulates.
Restaurateurs all have grease traps to collect the waste oil, units that are often poorly maintained and extremely dirty. Operators should modify the grease traps so that they can be easily cleaned. They should be fitted with a screen to filter the hot fat, and the waste must be filtered hot since animal fats solidify at room temperatures. The filtered waste grease should be collected in reusable containers for collection by the recyclers.
It is rather difficult to properly manage grease, but there is real potential for cost savings when it comes to managing the other oil used in most restaurants – the frying oil. In fact, the restaurant operator who fails to properly manage his or her frying oil is wasting money. The following table demonstrates the importance of properly managing cooking oil using a 50-pound fryer as an example.
The Bottom Line: Take Care of Your Frying Oil
The longer operators can make their oil last, the less oil must be disposed and the more efficient their frying operation. One of the first steps to extending the life of your frying oil is to document how and when it is changed. Get your free Monthly Frying Oil Log from Filtercop, and start today.