GUIDANCE FOR DEALING WITH POWER OUTAGES AND WATER DAMAGE DURING EMERGENCIES

Some areas throughout Georgia are still without power and dealing with water damage as a result of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma.  Please be reminded that only food service operations with a previously approved Emergency Operations Plan are allowed to operate more than 2 hours without power or water per the Georgia Department of Public Health Food Service Rules and Regulations.  All other facilities must cease operation and contact the health department for further guidance.  [In Cobb: 770-435-7815  or Douglas: 770-920-7311]

For helpful information to assist the public in regard to keeping safe in emergency situations, especially in regard to power outages and flooding, please see the following links:

Food Safety:  

USDA:  Food Safety During Power Outages Infographic

CDPH:  Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety During Emergencies

 

Mold Clean-up and Removal:

YouTube:  Preventing Mold After a Disaster

Private Well Water Disinfection after Flooding:

EPA:  Wells – What to Do After the Flood

Septic Systems after Flooding:

EPA:  Septic Systems – What to Do After the Flood

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Be Prepared for Weather Related Food Safety Emergencies!

Whether it’s snow and ice or severe storms and flooding, the safety of the food stored in your home can be compromised as a result of associated power outages and/or exposure to flood water.  To help guide you through the “what to do” process, Cobb & Douglas Public Health has created a webpage containing resources for these situations, and you can find it here:

http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/consumers-guide-food-safety-emergencies/

INSPECTOR IMPERSONATION ALERT!

We were recently notified by a nearby health district that a food service operator had received a call from someone claiming that he was from the health department and that the operator’s routine inspection was due.  The caller then stated that in order to receive the inspection, the operator would need to pay a fee via credit card over the phone.  Recognizing that this was not normal protocol, the operator informed the caller that he would need to phone the health department to verify the caller’s request.  The caller then quickly hung up.

Occasionally, we are made aware of such actions occurring via phone and in-person; especially during the holiday season.  Please review proper precautions and protocols with your staff.  For assistance with your food defense plan, please see the following link provided by the FDA:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodDefense/ToolsEducationalMaterials/ucm353774.htm

 

Are You Prepared?

planpreparepracticeIn the event of an emergency, are you prepared?  Our new Rules and Regulations for Food Service allow for the continued operation of a food service establishment in the event of an imminent health hazard (such as the loss of water or electric power for more than 2 hours) if your facility has a pre-approved Emergency Operations plan.   The following link will assist you in developing your own Emergency Operations plan:

Emergency Action Plan or Retail Food Establishments

Food service establishments are also required to have a plan for the clean-up of a vomit or fecal event that might occur in the  dining room, restroom, or on playground equipment.  An example of such a plan is available at the following link:

Clean-up Procedures for Vomit and Fecal Events