Don’t let gravy be a pain in your drain this Christmas

Home cooks across the North West are being warned of the hidden dangers of gravy after more than a third (38%) admitted to pouring it down their sinks.

United Utilities, which looks after the water and wastewater network for the North West, is predicting that the North West’s sewers could be under increased strain this Christmas because of the extra fat-laden food that is cooked over the festive period.

Cooking fats, oils and grease harden into lumps, creating fatbergs which can block pipes, risking a flood in your home.

Research by the water company found that home cooks will be using a variety of fats to cook their turkey, roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings. So, with Christmas just around the corner, United Utilities is asking customers to dispose of the fat, oil and grease responsibly – and that includes gravy.

Andy Peet, Wastewater Network Protection Manager for United Utilities, said: “There are many ways to make gravy, some people will use their favourite recipe and add meat juices for extra flavour – not realising that’ll turn into a fatty deposit when cooled.

“Even using granules or powder can be problematic as they usually contain some meat juice extracts or starch which can solidify when cooled. Once this happens it can result in a nasty mess which is expensive to clean up.”

The survey1 across the North West was carried out by United Utilities as part of their campaign to reduce the amount of fats, oils and grease being poured down sinks and drains after cooking.

While 73% of people in the North West will use butter, fat or oil to prepare roast potatoes, 48% will use oils for their turkey, 23% said they’d also use it to prepare sprouts, and, 19% would use it to prepare broccoli.

To prevent blockages in sinks and drains this Christmas, home cooks are encouraged to scrape cooled fat and oil from plates, roasting dishes, pans and utensils into the bin.

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