If your facility has been without power, it is necessary to ensure proper food safety in terms of cold holding (refrigeration and freezers). Proper cold holding temperatures are 41*F and below.
Discard refrigerated perishable food (PHF/TCS) such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, bagged produce, cut tomatoes and melons, cooked foods and dairy after 4 hours without power. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed). Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 41°F (5°C) or below, however, its quality may suffer. Never taste food to determine its safety.
Whole uncut fruits and vegetables that are maintained under refrigeration for quality purposes are not considered a food safety risk and maybe retained no matter how long food was out of temperature.
Please visit these websites for more information regarding food safety:
- Washington County Environmental Health Power Outage Guide
- CDC Food Safety - Power Outage This information is provided in multiple languages.
- USDA Safe Food Handling During a Power Outage
- Safe Food During Emergencies
Washington County Environmental Health protects the public's health by preventing and addressing foodborne illness.
Washington County licenses and inspects restaurants, food carts and other food service facilities to make sure they follow Oregon Department of Human Services Food Sanitation Rules.
We also provide education to food service operators and issue Food Handler cards.
Food safety inspections include observing kitchen workers' food handling practices, making sure equipment is working properly, measuring food temperatures, inspecting refrigerators and storage areas, assuring safe water availability, verifying the correct concentration and use of sanitizers, and evaluating general cleanliness. Follow-up inspections are conducted as needed.
Restaurant Inspection Scores are public record. A restaurant must receive a score of 70 to pass the inspection. Consumers can find a health inspection sign at the restaurant entrance.
Call 503-846-8722 to file a complaint if you think you became ill after dining out. Staff will conduct an investigation if necessary.