The Problem with “Fog”


Johann F. Szautner, PE, Civil Engineer ::::
If your work involves commercial kitchens, plumbing, or municipal code enforcement, you may know that fog can have a different meaning from what one may expect. It is the acronym for “Fats, Oils and Grease,” components of wastewater which must be removed before allowing it to enter the municipal collection system, to avoid clogging of pipes. FOG removal is achieved by installing a grease interceptor, commonly referred to as a grease trap. After the kitchen wastewater enters the trap, it cools down immediately, which solidifies the FOGs and floats them on the water surface, while food particles sink to the bottom, leaving a layer of clean water in the middle, which can be safely discharged into the municipal sewer system.
Case synopsis: The plaintiff, a custodial worker, entered the basement beneath an institutional kitchen to retrieve supplies kept there. As he walked around a corridor corner, he slipped and fell on a spill of greasy water, sustaining severe injuries. Defendants included the food service company, which was responsible to maintain the kitchen including the sinks and floor, the company maintaining the trap, and the institution owning the facility, including the kitchen. Continue reading “The Problem with “Fog””