What Is The Proper Way To Store Oil?

Oil being stored

If you work in a restaurant, especially one with a deep-fat fryer, you’ll no doubt have come across the huge amounts of oil used on a daily basis. This oil, once used, needs to be disposed of or converted into biodiesel in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

However, until it is collected, you will need to store this oil somewhere in the meantime. So what is the best way to do this? 

The best way to store used cooking oil is to let it cool, strain it for particulates, and then store it in a sealed blue drum. You will want to store this container under cover, on a flat surface, with it being easily accessible for the oil collection agency to safely collect and dispose of or recycle. 

Find out more about storing used cooking oil with BioUKFuels, a waste oil collector based in Sheffield that turns your used oil into green biodiesel. 

How To Store Used Cooking Oil

The correct way to store used cooking oil that has been used for industrial cooking is to ensure that your oil is stored:

  • In a blue hazardous liquid drum,
  • Away from other foodstuff,
  • Indoors or under shelter (if possible),
  • On a flat surface,
  • Separated – if animal renderings are mixed with vegetable fats, for instance. 

These are 5 ways in which health and safety assessors, such as your Local Council, Environmental Agency, or Food Standard Agency will view your approach to oil storage. 

This may be reviewed during your first month of business, then incrementally over the lifetime of your business at random. Your Food Hygiene Rating will be dependent on how you store oil, amongst other factors. 

How To Move Waste Oil To Storage

Once you have your waste oil storage area set up, you should take the following steps to ensure that you can move oil to this location safely and securely. 

Before you move your waste oil, you should:

  1. Ensure that the bottle you are about to pour your oil into is complete with no holes.
  2. Ensure that your entire path is clear of trip hazards and is well-lit.
  3. If you are lifting more than you can handle, ask for help.
  4. Check the receptacle to see if there is adequate space for the oil. 
  5. Make sure that you have adequate cleaning supplies, should an accident happen. 

Once you have checked the above 5 points, you are ready to decant your fryer oil into the empty bottle that it came in.

  1. Allow the oil the time to cool to room temperature.
  2. Remove it from the fryer using the spout on the frier into an empty bottle.
  3. Take this bottle to the large blue container in your storage area and strain out large particulates as you pour (this can be achieved with a sieve).
  4. Put all particulates, used blue rolls, bottles or packaging that has been used into its own refuse sack and dispose of them normally.

Following these procedures will allow you to dispose of or recycle your oil without getting any of it onto the floor, which makes it harder to clean up at a later time.

Why Do You Need To Be Careful When Disposing Of Used Cooking Oil?

Used cooking oil is an environmental hazard that can cause severe upset to groundwater and sewer systems if it is mistreated. Most notably, used cooking oil presents risks to humans as health hazards, and a slip hazard when spilt. 

It is for these reasons that oil storage is regulated, and efforts have been made to ensure that any spilt cooking oil is cleaned up before it enters waterways or protected land (such as farmland or conservation areas). 

How Long Can Oil Be Stored? 

Waste cooking oil can be stored for a maximum of 1 month before it becomes rancid, and begins to present new health risks.

Whilst properly stored oil can last up to 2-3 years without showing signs of decomposition, used cooking oil contains particles of fats, starches, sugars, and organic materials that will start to decompose quickly.

It should be worth understanding that used cooking oil can go out of date overnight, but not be noticeable until a customer becomes aware, or kitchen staff are made aware due to a change in smell when cooking. 

We therefore suggest that you schedule oil collections as regularly as possible. This may be as many as 2 times a week for larger commercial kitchens, or every 2 weeks for kitchens with a single countertop frying unit. 

Is It Safe To Store Oil In Plastic Containers?

Yes, storing used oil in plastic containers is the safest way to store it. It is incredibly important to remember to let your oil fully cool before transporting it anywhere. Not only does hot oil present a risk of burns, but it also will melt through most plastic containers that you are carrying it in. 

Anyone who has worked in an industrial kitchen will be familiar with oil spills, and won’t want to make that mistake more than once. 

Plastic is a neutral material that doesn’t react with most common materials. It is also durable, flexible and cheap to manufacture. Storing used oil in containers provided by your collection agency is best, as these containers will come with handles and fasteners to ensure extra protection from spills. 

Oil Storage and Collection from BioUKFuels

BioUKFuels is an oil waste collection facility that does things a little differently. Most oil collection companies simply collect and dispose of waste oil, whereas here at BioUKFuels, we pave the way to a greener future. 

Not only do we use your used cooking oil to produce green biodiesel, but we also pay you when we collect over 100 litres at any one time.

This means that not only are possible oil spills on your premises bad for the environment, but they could also be costing you money, too.

Call BioUkFuels on 01709 373248 or contact us through our contact form and we can contact you at a suitable time. 

BioUKFuels logo white

Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd
Unit 6A
Greasbro Rd, Tinsley
Sheffield, S9 1TN


01709 373248



[email protected]


Monday - Friday
9.00am - 5.00pm

© Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd 2022