(Effective May 28, 2017)


Due to the widespread interruption in essential electrical services by inclement weather on the evening of May 27, 2017, this office would like to provide guidance into the operation of your establishments with regard to the safety of the public.  The following instructions should be followed:

  • If electricity has not been restored to your establishment, please remain closed, (i.e. lack of refrigeration/freezing, cooking/hot holding, and water supply if operating from a private well, etc.).  Most refrigerators can maintain potentially hazardous foods (PHF’s) at a safe temperature (41F) or below for approximately 4 hours.
  • Most freezers can maintain PHF’s at a frozen state for approximately 24 hours.

NOTE: Refrigerators and freezers should be kept shut until the electrical power is restored.  Upon restored electrical service, a properly calibrated bi-metallic stemmed food thermometer must be used to survey foods stored within these units.  PHF’s held within refrigerators and found at temperatures above 41F or higher for unknown periods or in excess of 4 hours MUST     BE DISCARDED.  PHF’s stored within freezers observed thawed and at a temperature of 41F or below may be retained and should be used as soon as possible and NOT RE-FROZEN.  Frozen PHF’s that have thawed and are observed above 41F for unknown periods or in excess of 4 hours MUST BE DISCARDED.

  • Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods having observed blood/fluids from raw animal foods on them MUST BE DISCARDED.
  • Alternative means for the provision of electricity may be considered such as use of portable generators, coolers with ice, etc. However, the operation of portable generators must be conducted in a well ventilated area (i.e. outdoors), and with strict regard to the safety of persons within that area.  Also, the operation of portable generators must be conducted in a manner to prevent the potential electrocution of persons nearby and for the safety of workers attempting to restore service to the electrical power grid.
  • Any foods removed from your inspected establishment and taken to uninspected locations, ( i.e. private homes, etc.), MAY NOT be returned to your establishment for later service.

Remember the old adage…..

When in Doubt Throw it Out”

 We realize this is may be a difficult time.  Your assistance in assuring the safety of the public is greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the St. Francois County Health Center at (573) 431-1947 Ext. 121during normal business hours (8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Friday).  After hours inquiries may be made by telephone by calling the above telephone number then accessing extension 9 and following the prompts for “environmental emergencies.”

Thank you.