Top Liverpool restaurant gets top marks for disposing of left overs

A top Liverpool restaurant where young chefs learn the traditional and modern skills needed in today's hospitality industry has been given a glowing review for the way it manages its left overs.

The Academy Restaurant at The City of Liverpool College has been praised by water company United Utilities after installing state-of-the-art ‘fat traps’ under its kitchen sinks as part of a revamp.

The five traps are essential kit to stop fats, oils and greases getting into the sewers and solidifying with other waste into a stinky blockage called a fatberg.

Last month, United Utilities rid Liverpool city centre of a 250m long fatberg which had completely blocked a sewer pipe in Bankhall Lane. Two years earlier, the city had the dubious honour of having the North West’s biggest ever fatberg - a 400 tonne monster, which had to be hacked out by hand.

The Academy, off Duke Street, has modern kitchens which have never had a blockage but chose to do its part after a campaign by the water company.

Ian Jaundoo, Executive Chef for the college's commercial restaurant and cafés, said the installation was part of a huge investment in the restaurant and café which re-opened after a major refurbishment on June 22.

“Before lockdown we were serving well over 130 meals a day to staff, students and the public from both kitchens, including very high-quality tasting menus and fine dining, all prepared by our own students.

“We have a very strict procedure for disposing of fats and explain it to our students but inevitably there is always some that ends up going down the sink. The fat traps stop and contain any fat that manages to get past our scrapers. It’s been a big investment that we felt we should do,” he said.

Andy Peet, a trade effluent manager for United Utilities said city centres like Liverpool, which is home to around 300 restaurants and takeaways, were particularly susceptible to fatbergs.

“The work the Academy has done is really exemplary and we’ve been working hard with food outlets across the city centre to encourage more to do the same. Many of them have, and it’s great news because blockages can cause sewer flooding which is very bad for the community and even worse for a restaurant business,” he said.

Many businesses don’t realise that having a proper system in place for disposing of kitchen waste is often a condition of building regulations and that blocking sewers contravenes the Water industry Act. Repeat offenders could face a bill for clean-up costs, and the most serious cases prosecuted. Just this month a large pub management chain in Oxfordshire had to pay £90,000 in fines, compensation and costs to Thames Water after admitting breaching the water industry act by letting huge amounts of oil and fat get into the sewers.

“It is a big risk to put fats and oils down the sink. When they cool down they go solid and more often than not it’s your own pipes that get blocked and you can end up with a nasty, expensive mess,” explained Andy.

“All pans and plates should be wiped into the bin before you wash them. Even things like mayonnaise and ketchup contain oil. It might not seem like much in your own home, but when you add up thousands of meals a day in a small area like Liverpool city centre it’s no wonder we have to clean the sewers so often to keep them flowing.”