Steritech’s free Public Health Information Brief gives you direction on important operational steps restaurants and other foodservice operations should take following an interruption of water service, such as an incident that would prompt a boil water advisory or an instance of water source contamination.
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If a food establishment has water service interrupted due to a boil water advisory, contamination to the water supply, or any damage to the water supply lines, certain procedures should be followed while the water supply is not available and after restoration of the water supply.
The following guidelines are intended to assist with the development of temporary alternative procedures to address various food operations that are affected by the disruption of the water supply. It is important that the manager or person-in-charge (PIC) ensures that if these temporary procedures are needed, they are strictly followed and all operations operate in compliance with food safety requirements and the directive of local regulatory authorities.
Upon notification of a water interruption, the following actions should be taken:
The following table contains action steps and alternate procedures for various food service operations that may be affected by a water supply interruption IF the health department or regulatory authority allows any foodservice operations to remain open. Otherwise, cease operations as directed by the health department or regulatory authority.
If these procedures cannot be followed to provide safe water and food safety practices, every consideration should be made to cease operations until safe, potable water supply becomes available.
The following is a re-opening checklist to be used once the authorization and notification that the water supply is safe has been given. This list is a generic list and does not supercede any instruction given by local regulatory authorities. Always follow any directions given by the local water utility on using water lines after the ban is lifted. The flush times or procedures may be different from those in the bullets below.