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Food and DrinkAvoid a fatastrophy with this top kitchen tip at Christmas

Avoid a fatastrophy with this top kitchen tip at Christmas

If it’s your turn to cook this Christmas Day, be sure not to pour excess fat down the sink.

Those on shift in the kitchen have been warned that they may have a New Year nightmare if they don’t dispose of grease correctly.

Brilliant banquets will be laid out on tables across the land later this month, with turkey and the trimmings still the most popular choice to mark the occasion in the UK.

But while catering for the masses can test any home cook, making a misstep afterwards has the potential to really spoil the Yuletide holidays.

Eleanor Potter, Head of Strategic Product Sourcing at Plumbworld, explained: “It can be very tempting to get rid of any liquid leftovers down the kitchen sink as you battle to conquer the washing-up before the King’s Speech and family games begin.

“But if this includes any fat, such as those from your roast meat or potatoes, I would urge people to stop and think about the knock-on effect before they do so.

“That’s because fat will quickly cool when it comes into contact with waste water and cold pipes – and form a disgusting ‘fatberg’ that will cause major blockages and give you a holiday headache.”

The cost of having a fat-formed blockage removed could run into the hundreds of pounds, and the limited availability of plumbers over the festive season only adds to the problem.


In 2017 a record-breaking 130-tonne fatberg was discovered in sewers below the Whitechapel area of London.

The gigantic greaseball was 250 metres long and incorporated wet wipes and nappies, as well as cooking fat and oil.

Miss Potter said: “Millions of litres of fat and oil are poured down British sinks every year, and it is something that must stop to ensure systems stay in good working order.

“Instead of taking the risk once the crackers have been pulled on Christmas Day, the best approach is to allow any fat to cool down and solidify, then scrape it out of the pan and dispose of it with your regular grey rubbish.

“If you’re left with oil, put it in a sealed container and take it to your local recycling centre where they will dispose of it correctly free of charge.”

Plumbing issues

The Plumbworld expert also revealed some of the other unfortunate kitchen habits that can leave you with plumbing issues.

These include not using a strainer plug to catch food scraps, disposing of excess flour down the sink and even cramming egg shells down the gap – which can stick to many surfaces and accumulate to clog the pipework.

Plumbworld specialises in all things bathrooms, kitchens and heating, and has served more than 1.7 million UK customers since being established in 1999.

Helen Greaney
Helen Greaney
I'm a journalist with more than 18 years' experience on local, regional and national newspapers, as well as PR and digital marketing. Crime and the courts is my specialist area but I'm also keen to hear your stories concerning Manchester and the greater North West region.
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