With the holiday season just around the corner, many families are looking forward to their annual gatherings with traditional meals. It is important to remember that holiday cooking can include foods with byproducts that, if not disposed of properly, can harm your plumbing and the sewer system near your home.

Keep fats, oils and grease (FOG) out of household drains. They can clog your drains, cause sewer backups and disrupt the bacteria in your pipes.

FOGs are usually found in:

  • Baked goods
  • Butter, lard, shortening, cooking oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Fats and oil from cooked meats
  • Food scraps
  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing
  • Sauces
  • Sour cream

FOG comes mostly from pre-rinsing dishes or washing pots and pans in the kitchen. When FOG heated from cooking goes down the drain, it cools in the wastewater system and sticks to pipes, creating FOG buildup. The buildup can cause clogs and backups and damage water system pumps.

Tips to keep your drains fat-free:

  • Never put FOGs down the sink drains.
  • Pour cooled FOGs into a container like an old food can or jar and put the container in the trash.
  • Before washing, use a paper napkin or paper towel to wipe FOG from dishes and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Scrape all food into the trash, not the garbage disposal, before washing dishes.
  • Use sink strainers to catch food waste.