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Food Safety Following a Power Outage

An important message from the County of Lake’s Health Services Department, Environmental Health Division.

October 7, 2019


CONTACT:    Environmental Health Division

Food Safety Following a Power Outage

PG&E is anticipating initiating a Public Safety Power Shutoff event in the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 9.  Many areas of Lake County are expected to lose power as a result of this event.  In preparation, the County of Lake’s Health Services Department, Environmental Health Division, offers the following reminders regarding food safety following a power outage:

Discard any Perishable foods (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 41 °F for over 4 hours.

Never taste food to determine its safety!  You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe. Please contact your local solid waste hauler for proper disposal.  

If your refrigerator has been non-operational for an extended period of time, the food inside it has gone bad.  Perishable food products like raw meats, vegetables, etc. when not held at refrigeration, exude potentially hazardous juices.  These juices contaminate not only your other food products but also your refrigerator.  Discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

When cleaning your refrigerator or freezer, please avoid increasing the contamination area by containing the spill as much as possible by using a basin or restricting it to a certain area.

After gathering the potentially hazardous food, properly dispose of any spoiled or questionable food by double bagging it and throwing it in the trash.

Remember, Safety First!

Use gloves and safety glasses. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling or cleaning up spoiled foods, containers and refrigerators.

How should you clean and sanitize your refrigerator after disposing of potentially hazardous food?  

Use the following cleaning and sanitizing method to clean and disinfect:

1.  Wash with soap and water; ensure that any dirt, silt or chemicals are brushed or wiped away
2.  Rinse with clean water
3.  Sanitize by using water and bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water)
4.  WASH, RINSE AND SANITIZE other food contact surfaces.
5.  Air Dry


Water Faucet
Urgent Health Advisory

Effective immediately, people on private water systems whose tap water comes from their own private intake into the lake, in the Oaks Arm and Lower Arm of Clear Lake should not drink the water.

More info