The task of identifying FOG producing food service establishments is daunting, but without this information you’re going to be lost, and unprepared. Of course, there is your number one employee who wears the name tag GOOGLE. While possible, it’s a huge process and should not be relied on solely for creating your list. Cell phone apps like find a restaurant? No, I have found that the information isn’t complete no matter which app it is and inevitably it will lead me to hours of wasted time flinging birds into rocks. I can’t open myself to that type of temptation, so cell phone apps for this type of research are out with me.
Identifying all grease producing facilities is crucial to a successful FOG Program.
You might decide you can grid out the system and drive up and down every street in your municipality until every single FSE has been tagged, bagged and ready to be regulated. Well, good luck with your road trip, but I am too lazy for all that. Work smart, not hard, right?
Instead, I am simply going to pick up the phone. Because we live in the age of technology, accessing mass volumes of information is easy. Think about the available resources within your own municipality. Start within your own department. All these places require water and a toilet, and quite possibly the person who created the billing data system had the foresight for a white block where Food Service Establishment is checked. Every single FSE is permitted by the Health Department, and hopefully regularly inspected. They must have some type of list, right? Get your hands on that list ASAP.
The State Agriculture Department does a lot more then pin the winning fair ribbon on a cow. These people are charged with an immense volume of tasks, everything from regulating bees to farming subsidies. Somewhere in between the honey and the money lie the inspection of food processing facilities. State Agriculture Departments visit food processing establishments twice each year, so contacting them might not be a bad idea either.
You never know when Grammys cookies, Jellies and Jams has expanded from the home basement into a small commercial warehouse setting. Most likely the State will know about this. How I have no idea, but I am sure there is a conspiracy there somewhere.
How about your local building department? They are a great resource, because even once you establish this master list of FSEs, it’s going to constantly be changing. Restaurants come and go as fast as a summer vacation, so keeping your list updated with these things, like a change of ownership is key to maintaining your FOG program and sanity. The building department is the gateway for all these places getting permits for new work and remodels. Might cost you a lunch, but it would be money well spent to stay in their good graces.
Forming these partnerships within your municipal departments will not only ease your task of building a FOG program, but it will also benefit the other branches as well. Find out what their message is to FSE’s and offer to reinforce it into your training and inspection discussions. Offer to keep them informed new changes to your FSE list they might not be aware of. You will have gained an enormous amount of information on current FSEs and established a strong relationship for future information access.
Learn more about Identifying grease producing food service establishments, and all other aspects of creating and operating a FOG Program by taking the FOGQuest™ Grease Expert Online Training.