For Immediate Release: October 23, 2005
Contact: Meg Shannon (850) 443-9775
DBPR Reminds Restaurant Owners to Follow Safe
Tallahassee – The Department of Business and Professional
Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Hotels and Restaurants urges food
service operators throughout the state to take special measures
during power or water outages and other emergency conditions.
“After an emergency, it is especially critical that those
operating food service establishments take appropriate precautions
in order to ensure the safety of their patrons,” said Secretary
The Division performs critical inspections in the aftermath of
significant weather events. For crucial public health reasons, it is
imperative that inspection staff deploy as soon as possible
following a hurricane. Due to emergency factors such as flooding or
loss of power, food service operators must ensure food remains safe.
The division provides emergency recovery guidelines and performs
abbreviated inspections to ensure operators have the ability to
safely operate. Following the 2004 storms, the division completed
nearly 13,000 emergency recovery inspections.
In the aftermath of such events, food service operators must
overcome the effects of utility interruptions, flooding, compromised
water supplies and structural damage and ensure the safety of their
food supplies and their ability to safely serve it. Food that has
warmed due to of lack of refrigeration or that has been contaminated
by floodwater, storm debris or other contaminants, poses the
greatest potential for foodborne illness. In the wake of emergency
events, operators should take the following precautions:
- Assure that all potentially hazardous food has been
maintained at 41° F or below. Food that has been out of
temperature for more than 4 hours must be discarded in a manner
that does not create a sanitary nuisance.
- Clean and sanitize
all contaminated equipment and food-contact surfaces with
potable or boiled water.
- Wash hands thoroughly before and
after handling foods.
- Maintain hot foods at temperatures of
140°F or above.
- Maintain cold foods at temperatures of 41°F or
- Take food temperatures frequently.
- Cook ground beef
to a minimum of 155°F; cook chicken to a minimum of 165°F; and
cook pork to a minimum of 145°F.
- Heat foods quickly and cool
- Use single-service articles whenever possible.
· Keep food covered and protected from dust, dirt, insects,
vermin and other contaminants.
- Do not use swollen, leaking or
damaged canned goods.
- Do not use containers of food with screw
type closures that contacted floodwater or
- other liquid contaminants.
- WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT.
When a “Boil Water Notice” is issued by the local Health
Department, operators must observe the following procedures:
- Do not serve water from faucets until local authorities
advise the water is safe for consumption. Use only bottled
and/or boiled water from an approved source. Boil water at a
rolling boil for five minutes.
- Do not use ice from ice
machines or ice making refrigerators. Ice present in ice
machines after a power outage should be discarded and machines
not restarted until water supply is approved.
interior of ice machine with two teaspoons (100+ ppm) of
household bleach in one gallon of water. Sanitize ice trays in
refrigerators with the same strength bleach solution.
- Do not
cook with or use tap water in food or salad preparation until
cleared by local authorities. Use bottled and/or boiled water
for these purposes.
- Do not use tap water for handwashing. Use
bottled and/or boiled water. Follow your handwashing by using a
sanitizing solution on the hands. This may be accomplished by
using a commercial hand sanitizing lotion requiring no rinse or
a chlorine bleach solution of two teaspoons of household bleach
in one gallon of water.
- Disconnect or turn off drinking
fountains and post-mix beverage machines so that they cannot be
- Manually wash, rinse and sanitize dishes with bottled
and/or boiled water utilizing a 3-compartment sink in the
approved manner as usual.
Operators will be advised by either the local Health Department
and/or the news media when a “Boil Water Notice” has been lifted.
After the “Boil Water Notice” has been lifted, operators must allow
water to run for three minutes at each tap to flush the lines with
The Division of Hotels and Restaurants is dedicated to protecting
the health and safety of the public through education in partnership
with industry. DBPR licenses nearly 1 million businesses and
professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and
accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information,