Department of Health advises restaurants on reopening after storm

The state Department of Health today reminded food establishments of how to safely reopen after power outages.

Inspections by local health authorities are under way to ensure that perishable foods are not sold at food establishments that lost power, the health department said in a news release. Food establishments with questions about reopening should contact their local health department or district.

Restaurants and food stores should discard perishables that have been exposed to unsafe temperatures, flood or sewage waters, or other sources of potential contamination and ensure that they are adequately cleaned and sanitized prior to resuming operations.

Restaurants and grocery stores must make sure the following basic conditions before resuming food preparation or sale of potentially hazardous foods:

· All unsafe potentially hazardous food has been discarded.

· Electricity and gas services have been restored.

· All circuit breakers have been properly reset.

· All equipment and facilities are operating properly, including: lighting, refrigeration, hot holding, ventilation, and bathrooms.

· Hot and cold potable water, within appropriate water pressure range, is available for consumption, hand washing and proper dishwashing.

Any food establishments that are looking to operate under interim measures, such as using bottled water or generator power, must first gain approval from their local health department prior to reopening under

these conditions. For information on food safety, visit: www.ct.gov/dph and click “Hurricane Sandy: Important Health Information.”

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