Food Safety Guidelines During a Power Outage
Preparing for Power Shut Off and Food Safety After a Power Shut Off
Environmental Health is responsible for the enforcement of the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law (CalCode), and shall determine appropriate actions to be taken based on local conditions. Environmental Health recommends that food retailers develop an action plan and obtain appropriate emergency supplies to prepare for temporary power outages. When a power outage occurs, potentially hazardous foods are of utmost concern due to the potential growth of bacteria during the time the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F). Please follow these food safety guidelines (PDF) on what to do before, during, and after a temporary power outage.
Discontinue all food preparation during the power outage.
If you voluntarily close your facility due to a power outage, the following should be verified prior to reopening and resuming food preparation and/or sale of potentially hazardous foods:
- All unsafe potentially hazardous foods have been discarded. If you have any questions regarding the safety of specific foods, contact Environmental Health. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!
- Electricity and gas services have been restored.
- All circuit breakers have been properly reset as needed.
- All equipment in the facility is working properly, including refrigeration, lighting, hot holding, ventilation, faucets with cold and hot running potable water under pressure and a minimum temperature of 120°F for warewashing and 100°F for handwashing as well as toilet facilities.
If your facility is closed by an Environmental Health inspector, it must remain closed until you obtain official approval from Environmental Health to reopen.