INVESTIGATORS will review the disposal of fat, oil and grease (FOG) at city food outlets after engineers spent three days removing a giant 'fatberg' from a sewer pipe, causing the partial closure of a major road.

Drivers looking to do last minute Christmas shopping in Worcester were left frustrated when a lane of the A44 Sidbury Road was closed from December 21 to 24 while the blockage was removed.

A main artery into the city centre and a popular food spot, the road is home to the likes of Dixy Chicken, China City, Thai on 7evern, The King’s Head, Primo Bar, Red Tomato Bistro and Benedicto’s Italian.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) said: “If a café, restaurant or take-away is causing a build-up of FOG in the local drainage system, WRS has the power to require the installation of a fat trap.

“Most food outlets dispose of FOG they produce in a responsible manner, but following the incident in Sidbury, WRS officers will be looking into the procedures of food businesses in the area.”

However, Luca Belotta, manager of Benedicto’s, told the Worcester News they did not have a fat trap but would “never dispose of grease and fat down the sink”.

“We put all fats and oils into big containers after cooking and they are collected by two different companies each week,” he said.

The fatberg was estimated to be between seven and 10 metres in length and has yet to be completely disposed of, with engineers planning to return in the new year.

A spokeswoman for Severn Trent Water said teams have “cleared it enough that the sewer was running so there are no issues for customers”.

She added: “However, they think there is still a build-up in there, although they’re not sure at this point if it’s more solidified fat or concrete.

“They need specialist equipment to get at it, so they’re going to go in and do some more work in the new year, but they’ll do it overnight, so they don’t get in the way or cause issues for people.”

Severn Trent has also reminded all customers to dispose of FOG in the bin rather than washing it down the sink.

“This is especially important for businesses who make food and we work with our partner, ECAS, who are an environmental engineering company that specialises in designing and implementing FOG management programmes, to work with these businesses across the region,” the spokeswoman said.

“This partnership approach has been incredibly successful and is part of a programme that Severn Trent has in place to tackle fatbergs by preventing them in the first place.

“We help these food service chains to install correctly sized grease traps so that the sewers are kept fat free, and we set up an awareness raising programme for their staff on how to dispose of fats and oils from cooking, so that they understand the environmental benefits of looking after their pipes and local sewers.”