Public Health Department Cathy A. Raevsky, Director Mark A. Lundberg, M.D., M.P.H., Health Of- ficer Environmental Health 202 Mira Loma Drive Oroville, California 95965 T: 530.538.7281 F: 530.538.7994 buttecounty.net/publichealth FOOD SAFETY DURING TEMPORARY POWER OUTAGES - RETAIL FOOD FACILITIES This Food Safety Notice is being issued by the Butte County Public Health Department to provide guidance to the retail food industry. It was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Retail Food Industry, food safety experts at the University of California at Davis, the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, California Conference of Local Health Officers, and the California Department of Health Services. Butte County is experiencing an electrical power outage. Appropriate decision-making before, during, and immediately after power outages is necessary to protect consumers from unsafe food and minimize product loss. The Department recommends that food retailers develop a plan and obtain appropriate emergency supplies before the need rises. The food items of concern are those that are potentially hazardous foods (PHF). Generally, PHF are moist, perishable foods in and on which bacteria can grow most easily during the time when the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F). WHEN THERE IS A POWER OUTAGE Note the time at which the power outage begins. Discard food products that are in the process of being cooked, but which have not yet reached the final temperature. Actions That Can Keep Food Safe for Several Hours Cold Potentially Hazardous Foods Hot Potentially Hazardous Foods Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed Use ice and/or ice baths to rapidly cool as much as possible If practical, group packages of cold food together to reduce heat gain Cover open refrigerated and frozen food cases, especially vertical displays Caution: The use of dry ice may result in unsafe build-up of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). small batches of hot food Do not place hot foods in refrigerators or freezers Use "canned heat" under foods on electric steam tables to help maintain PHF at 135°F Food Safety During Temporary Power Outages April 6, 2015 Page -2- Discontinue Food Preparation If Any of the Following Conditions Exist Inability to properly wash, rinse and sani- Lack of sufficient light in food preparation tize utensils areas to allow for safe food preparation and cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces. Inoperative hood ventilation and make-up air supply systems in conjunction with gas or solid fuel heating and cooking equipment No hot water, inadequate water pressure Unsafe food temperatures (see tables be- (Danger: Toxic fumes may cause injury or death) low) WHEN THE POWER IS RESTORED Identify PHF that may have been in the temperature danger zone Check the internal food temperature If practical, separate packages of food in refrigeration units and freezers to allow for faster recooling Refrigerated Potentially Hazardous Food Food Temperatures Duration of Power Outage (in hours) 450F 460F to 500F 0-2 PHF can be sold Cool PHF to 410F or below within 2 hours 2-3 PHF can be sold, but must be cooled to 410F or below within 2 hours Cool PHF to 410F or below within 1 hour 4+ Immediately cool PHF to 410F or below within 1 hour PHF cannot be sold More than 500F PHF cannot be sold Potentially Hazardous Food in Hot Holding Units Use the following table to determine what to do with PHF that is held in hot holding units and below 135°F at the time the power is restored: During Power Outage 2 hours or less More than 2 hours Food below 1350F in Hot Holding Units When Power is Restored May be sold if reheated to 1650F and then hold at 1350F or above, or May be sold if rapidly cooled to 410F or below within 2 hours following restoration of power PHF cannot be sold Food Safety During Temporary Power Outages April 6, 2015 Page -3- REOPENING If you voluntarily closed your facility, the following conditions should be verified prior to resuming food preparation and/or sale of potentially hazardous foods: 1. All unsafe potentially hazardous food has been discarded 2. Electricity and gas services have been restored 3. All circuit breakers have been properly reset as needed 4. All equipment and facilities are operating properly, including: Lighting Ventilation Refrigeration Toilet facilities Hot holding 5. Hot (minimum 120º F, except hand washing 100-108º F) and cold potable water, under pressure for: Proper dishwashing Hand washing 6. Note: If your facility was closed by the Public Health Department, it must remain closed until you obtain approval from the Public Health Department to reopen. DISPOSAL OF FOOD PHF that has been subjected to unsafe temperatures prior to the power outage might not be safe to eat even if the procedures in the tables on the previous page are followed. If it is determined that food must be discarded, document the type and amount of food and the reason for disposal for insurance and regulatory purposes. Small volumes of food to be discarded can be denatured with a cleaning product (such as bleach) and placed in the outside refuse bin. To discard large volumes of food, contact your refuse disposal company or your local landfill operator for disposal instructions. If there are any questions regarding the safety of specific foods, contact your local environmental health agency. When In Doubt, Throw It Out!! Questions or Additional Information? Contact butte county public health department staff at: (530) 538-7281 during normal working hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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