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Posted on: October 8, 2019

Environmental Health Guidelines for Food Facilities During Power Outages

Environmental Health Division – Food Facilities Power Outage Guidelines

Food Facilities: 


Environmental Health is responsible for the enforcement of the California Retail Food Code (CalCode) and shall determine appropriate actions to be taken based on local conditions.  Environmental Health recommends that food retailers develop an action plan and obtain appropriate emergency supplies to prepare for temporary power outages.  When a power outage occurs, potentially hazardous foods are of utmost concern due to the potential growth of bacteria during the time the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F). Please follow these food safety guidelines (PDF) devised by the California Department of Public Health on what to do before, during, and after a temporary power outage.

Discontinue all food preparation during the power outage.


If you voluntarily close your facility due to a power outage, the following should be verified prior to reopening and resuming food preparation and/or sale of potentially hazardous foods:

•    All unsafe potentially hazardous foods have been discarded. If you have any questions regarding the safety of specific foods, contact Environmental Health.  Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

•    Electricity and gas services have been restored.

•    All circuit breakers have been properly reset as needed.

•    All equipment in the facility is working properly, including refrigeration, lighting, hot holding, ventilation, faucets with cold and hot running potable water under pressure and a minimum temperature of 120°F for warewashing and 100°F for handwashing as well as functional toilet facilities.

If your facility is closed by an Environmental Health inspector, it must remain closed until you obtain official approval from Environmental Health to reopen.


Thank you for your continued support and efforts in protecting public health and safety. For further information please contact:


Tuolumne County

Division of Environmental Health

48 Yaney St

Sonora, CA 95370

Office: (209) 533-5633

Fax: (209) 533-5909


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