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Frequently Asked Questions

Water Emergencies at Food Service Establishments

The following guidelines are provided for safe operation of a food service establishment when the facility has a limited supply of water or the supply becomes contaminated. This can occur if there's a water main break in the area, if water is shut off for construction related reasons, etc. This also applies to residential customers as well.

OPERATION

 

WHEN WATER IS LIMITED OR UNAVAILABLE

 

WHEN WATER SUPPLY IS CONTAMINATED

Thawing of frozen foods

Thaw only in refrigerator, or as part of cooking process if food weighs less than three pounds.

Same

Washing produce

Obtain and use pre-washed packaged produce.

Same

Use produce washed prior to emergency.

Same

Use frozen or canned produce.

Same

Wash fresh produce with water from an alternate source.

Same

Spraying, dipping & soaking of produce

Use water from an alternate source.

Same

Preparing & cooking food, including reconstituting dried food

Use only food that was prepared prior to the interruption.

Same

Discontinue sale of prepared foods.

Same

Use prepared food from an alternate source.

Same

Use water from an alternate source.

Same

Ice-making

Use ice prepared before interruption.

Disconnect machine from supply; drain & disinfect equipment prior to use again.

Do not use ice for preparing or serving beverages.

Same

Purchase packaged potable ice.

Same

Preparing carbonated & other cold/hot beverages

Replace with bottled or canned beverages.

Same

Use water from an alternate source.

Disconnect water line to post-mix carbonated beverage machine, drain & disinfect lines prior to reuse.

Handwashing by employees

Use water from an alternate source.

Same (any alternative accepted for employee handwashing must accommodate regular and effective handwashing by employee).

Use water-less hand sanitizer.

Same

Cleaning & sanitizing tableware, kitchenware, vending machine components, equipment & surfaces

Use only single-service tableware and single use kitchenware.

Same

Use water from or take components to an alternate source for cleaning.

Same

Cleaning floors, walls & other nonfood contact surfaces

Use waterless cleaning methods.

Same

Using garbage grinders

Discontinue use and dispose of garbage in proper containers together with other refuse.

Same

Flushing toilets

Use adjacent approved facilities which are readily available.

Same

Use waterless toilets (portajohns).

Same

Limit toilet use to employees.

Use nonpotable water

Use water from an alternate source.

Same

For questions or more information, call Clearwater Public Utilities at (727) 562-4960.