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> Health - EH - Water Interruption at Food Facilities

Water Interruption at Permitted Food Facilities

The determination as to whether a food facility may remain open during a period of water interruption must be made by the Tompkins County Health Department.

Call the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6688 immediately if your water supply is interrupted.

Contact your water supplier immediately.

A permitted Food Service Establishment must provide potable water at all times. Should the water supply become affected in such a way as to place public health at risk, a Food Service Establishment is required to take appropriate action to protect the public.

Facilities should develop contingency plans to deal with water emergencies. Include in your emergency plan a list of all equipment that is connected to the water distribution system.

A sufficient supply of potable water is necessary for hand washing, food preparation, equipment cleaning and sanitization, and other food establishment operations. Interruption or contamination of the water supply is especially important since water can serve as a direct vehicle of contamination to food and food service contact surfaces.

There may be circumstances where available alternatives are not sufficient to provide acceptable public health protection.

In the event of an emergency which could result in the contamination of food, including an unexpected interruption to the water supply, the person in charge must immediately take action to protect public health. Control measures involve:

  • Calling the Tompkins County Health Department at 274-6688 immediately
  • Contacting your water supplier
  • Ceasing food service operations immediately

Further directions will be given to your facility once the Health Department assesses the water supply interruption and applicable measures have been taken at your facility.

(CONTENT UPDATED: 8/14/2007)