The Big Idea 2013: Closed-loop Oil System

Hospital implements closed-loop oil recycling system.

Published in Healthcare Spotlight

Dave Reeves
Director, Food & Nutrition

Jim Roth
Executive Chef
Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, Elmhurst, Ill.

Dave Reeves: We had an opportunity with building a new facility to explore some new options. We were brainstorming ideas and the closed oil system was one of the things Jim had mentioned. He had seen the system in operation in a casino he had been working in. I liked the idea because there would be virtually no cost involved because we could incorporate it into the design of the building.

It is a very clean system. We don’t have a Dumpster outside where we’re putting used oil, with the smell and mess associated with it. Preferred Oil is the company that designed the system.

The system works like this: A truck pulls up to the loading dock and the driver accesses a panel on the wall where a valve is located. He attaches a hose and pumps cooking oil through the valve into a 200-gallon tank located inside the building.

Our fryers are connected to the tank via tubes. When a cook needs to fill a fryer or replace oil, he or she simply takes a hose with a handle attached to the fryer, pushes the handle and allows oil to flow into the fryer. When oil is ready to be recycled, the cooks can access a panel in the front of the fryer, where, by turning a red lever, they allow oil to flow out of the fryer and into the waste oil bin located right inside the loading dock.
The oil company comes to the hospital and attaches a hose to another valve, also on the wall of the loading dock. The oil company driver opens the valve and the used oil flows into the truck to be taken for recycling.

Jim Roth: We are paying a commodity price for oil, but by recycling the oil we get a credit back. It’s more efficient and more economical. It reduces the chance of accidents that you can have with spilling oil, changing filters, etc. You don’t have employees carrying bottles of oil, and there are no cases of 35-gallon containers of oil sitting around taking up storage space. Another thing I like is that I can monitor my oil usage from my desktop.

For example, I can tell when oil is being recycled too soon and from which fryer. So I can talk to employees about their oil usage, keeping filters clean, etc. In the two years this has been in place, we’ve found we’re using less oil than before. We are using less than 200
gallons a month. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources