New Jersey FOG Regulations (Fats, Oils and Grease) are governed by a variety of government entities ranging from towns to cities to counties. The NJ FOG regulations apply to any retail food establishment or food processing entity. The grease regulations discussed here are for the city of Elizabeth, NJ but are similar to the regulations in any city or town.
The rules and regs for grease disposal and control are extensive and what follows is a summary.
Purpose of NJ FOG Regulations
- Prevent excessive amounts of grease from entering the sewer system and clogging sewer lines
- Implement procedures to recover the costs for any liability incurred by the city for blocked sewer lines.
Who do FOG rules cover?
- Any food service, prep or processing facility within the city
- The owner of a facility with FOGs or grease generating activity shall install a grease interceptor. The interceptor shall be adequate to separate and remove FOGs discharges prior to reaching the public sewer system. A hydromechanical grease interceptor may be utilized instead of a gravity grease interceptor in certain circumstances.
- Both new and existing facilities are required to implement best practices to reduce the quantity of FOG discharge.
- Every food establishment must have a FOG control license from the city health department.
- NJ FOG control licenses are issued upon certification and payment of fees and they expire each year on the same date as the food establishment license.
NJ FOG Regulation-Design Requirements
- Grease interceptors have extensive design requirements such as design by licensed professional engineers, compliance with the New Jersey plumbing sub-code and installation by appropriately licensed plumber
NJ FOG Regulation-Maintenance Requirements
- A prohibited discharge must be reported within 7 days
- Cleaning schedules
- 25% of liquid depth must be pumped
- frequency of pumping no longer than 30 days
- must have a licensed rendering and disposal company
- No FOGs removed can be returned to any interceptor
NJ FOG Inspections
- A licensed plumber must inspect annually and submit report within 2 weeks
- A formal inspection report is required for an annual food license
- A maintenance log must be kept with dates, events, employee training documented
- The log shall be submitted with the annual FOG license application
Best Management Practices for Grease Disposal
- “Best practices” must be implemented and documented. There are extensive best practices for:
- disposal of food waste
- maintenance of exhaust filters
- kitchen signage
- floor mats
- oil and grease spills
- employee training along with documentation
- numerous BMPs to minimize volume of grease discharge
NJ Fog Management-Enforcement
- Violations are unlawful
- Inspectors have right of entry during business hours
- Any facility owner in violation can be liable to the city for any loss, damage or expense occasioned by the city. (This could be $000s of dollars)
NJ FOG Regulations-Violations and Penalties
- 1st offense $250
- 2nd and further offenses $500
- Costs to compensate city for clearing of sewer blockage
Understanding FOG regulations, FOG licenses and maintenance and training is an absolute must for any restaurant or food processing facility. Be prepared for FOG inspections.