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Power Outages: a Guide for Food Facilities, Pools & Spas
Loss of power can pose serious health & safety issues

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Food Facility Power Outage Guide

Power outages may result from storms, natural disasters, fires, or may be planned by a utility company for maintenance work or other purposes. The loss of power can pose serious health and safety issues at food facilities.

In the event of a power outage, food facilities must:

  • Cease operation until power is restored.
  • Environmental Health Services inspectors may visit the impacted area to verify that your facility has ceased operation.
  • If refrigerator and freezer doors are not opened, safe food temperatures below 41°F can be maintained for several hours. The length of time depends on ambient air temperature, how well the refrigerator is insulated, and its temperature prior to the outage.
  • When power is restored, take into consideration the length of the outage and then check food temperatures to determine if your food is still safe.
  • If perishable foods are above 41°F for more than two hours, discard the food item.

When in doubt, throw it out!

Additional Resources:

Pool and Spa Facility Power Outage Guide

The loss of power can pose serious health and safety issues for swimming pools and spas, including those in hotels, motels, health clubs, municipal facilities, water parks, apartments, condominiums, homeowner associations, and schools. If the pool or spa is on an automatic control system, restarting the system after an extended shut-down of the pump may result in the release of chlorine gas.

In the event of a power outage, pool and spa facilities must:

  • Cease operation until power is restored.
  • Environmental Health Services inspectors may visit the impacted area to verify that your facility has ceased operation.
  • When power is restored, verify that the circulation system is working properly, and that pool chemistry meets the required standard prior to reopening and allowing people to use the pool or spa.
  • For extended outages, you may need to run the circulation system for several hours and then verify pool chemistry

When in doubt, have your pool service company check the pool or spa prior to reopening.

More information about pool safety may be found here: smchealth.org/pools

For general updates on the Public Safety Power Shutoff, please visit PGE’s website: www.pge.com/psps

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