The Board of Health voted to waive the external grease trap requirement at Harrows Chicken Pies due to the low volume of fats, oils and greases produced on site.

Wally Arsenault of Harrows requested a hearing to appeal the Board of Health regulations mandating the placement of an external grease trap at food establishments.

In 2015 the Board of Health adopted regulations that require food establishments to install an internal grease trap and external grease trap or grease trap interceptor. The intent was to limit the buildup of fats, oils and greases (FOG) in sewer pipes that is generated from food preparation.

Arsenault told board members that the Harrows at 352 Broadway is a retail store with no food production at all.

Chicken pies are delivered to the Saugus location already made and packaged, Arsenault said. If someone calls and asks for a hot chicken pie the staff might throw one in the oven to warm it up, he noted.

“We don’t have any raw ingredients, no pots, no dishwashers, no work tables,” Arsenault said. “It is just retail plus an oven. I think we put less through our tank than an average household.”

Arsenault asked that the Board of Health waive the requirements for an external grease trap and for monthly cleaning of the establishment’s internal grease trap.

Director of Public Health David Greenbaum visited Harrows and confirmed what Arsenault stated about the absence of food preparation at the business.

Based on what he observed, Greenbaum said that Harrows should be viewed as a low volume producer of FOG.

Greenbaum said that he was OK with waiving the external grease trap with the condition that an internal automatic grease trap be installed at Harrows. The regulations call for the addition of an automatic grease trap if the board determines a waiver for an external grease trap is appropriate.

An automatic grease trap removes grease and directs water into the sewer system, Greenbaum said.

External grease traps can cost tens of thousands of dollars while an automatic grease trap might run around $5,000 or cheaper, Greenbaum said.

Board members voted unanimously to waive the external grease trap requirement for Harrows and to permit the automatic grease trap at the establishment.

Greenbaum said that he would give Harrows a few months to get the grease trap installed.