Operating a food business in the event of a water stoppage

Local food businesses are being advised to take extra precautions during this period of water stoppage. For further advice contact 01242 775014 or 01242 775020.

Cheltenham Borough Council has prepared a guidance document for businesses about food safety and water storage.

The document provides a series of recommendations concerning food service, including the following:

  • Food outlets are advised to stop supplying the full menu and concentrate on simple, refrigerated foods and hold them for a maximum of twenty four hours
  • Purchase ready frozen ice, from a reputable supplier
  • Try to use bottled water, rather than supplying boiled water
  • Purchase disposable items such as paper plates to minimise the use of water for washing

Food outlets are also advised to consider their use and storage of water.

  • Water should be kept in clean, capped, or lidded containers and should not be kept for longer than twenty four hours
  • If bowsers are provided, water must be boiled before it is used for hand washing and food washing

Barbara Exley, service manager for public protection said: “Food safety officers will monitor food businesses to ensure that food safety is not compromised if there is to be an interruption of the water supply. Businesses are advised to contact environmental health on 01242 775020 for advice.”

Other businesses in Cheltenham that do not handle food may also lose water supplies. In that instance they will need to reassess whether they can adequately look after the welfare of their customers and staff.

The minimum requirement is a supply of bottled water for drinking, plus any available water including rainwater in buckets for flushing WCs. If neither of these are available businesses should consider closing during the failure of water supply.

Download detailed guidance on operating a food business with restricted water supply.

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