/Can I still operate during a power outage?

It depends. If the interruption of power service is for a short time and you closely monitor food, equipment and water temperatures to assure all are being maintained at an acceptable temperature (see criteria below) and there is adequate lighting, the health district may approve operating during an outage that does not exceed two hours.

It is important that you notify the health district immediately so we can assist you in making the safe decision.

  • If you don’t notify the health district and operate without power, you will be issued a cease and desist order. You will also be assessed fees and required to pass an inspection with 10 demerits or fewer with no identical repeat critical violations or major violations from the last recorded inspection before reopening.
  • Monitoring criteria: 
    1. Food – Closely monitor the temperature of all potentially hazardous food (PHF) to assure temperatures are maintained at 41°F or below for cold holding or 135°F or above for hot holding.If PHF items are between 41° and 45°F, they must be used within 72 hours (date label).

      Once a PHF item exceeds 45°F it must be used within four hours or discarded (time label food containers starting at the time of the power outage or once they are taken out of temperature control).

      Do not serve or save food that has been temperature compromised.

    2. Food holding equipment – Keep cold and hot holding equipment doors closed to maintain temperatures of the food.
    3. Hot water – Hot water from the faucet must be a minimum 120°F. Unless the detergent you use has specific instructions otherwise, your warewashing water must be a minimum 110°F.You must close for business if the hot water at your hand washing sinks falls below 100°F. To conserve your hot water, consider switching to single use tableware until the power is restored.
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