COVID-19 Information

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Guidance for Food Establishments during a Water Advisory

What is a "boil water advisory?"

A boil water advisory is issued by a public water system when there is concern that a problem with
drinking water exists.

What is "bottled water advisory?"

A bottled water advisory is issued by a public water system when boiling water from that system will
concentrate the identified contaminate to a level that could cause a health concern.

What is a "do not use advisory?"

A do not use advisory may be issued if public health is at risk from contact or inhalation of contaminants
or toxins in the water.

Why is a water advisory issued?

A water advisory is issued to protect the public from infectious agents (such as bacteria) or other threats
that could be or are known to be present in drinking water.

What procedure should be used for a boil water advisory?

  1. Place water in a clean and sanitized, heat-resistant container.
  2. Place container on a stove burner and bring the water to a rapid, rolling boil for at least one minute.
  3. If necessary, cool water by placing in another sanitized container and store the container in the refrigerator.

While under a water advisory, food service establishments should take the following precautions:

  • Do not distribute any foods prepared with or containing water that was not bottled or boiled without pre-approval from regulatory authorities.
  • Use only bottled or boiled water for the following:
    • To wash, rinse, and prepare food.
    • Serving drinking water or drinks mixed with water.
    • Using water as an ingredient in any food product.
    • To make consumable ice products (when possible purchase commercially bagged ice from an approved source/supplier).
    • To wash hands before and during preparation of food, and after using the restroom.
  • Use boiled or bottled water for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing steps in a three compartment sink. See product label for proper sanitizer mixing instructions.
  • Do not use high temperature dish machines since the water does not reach boiling temperature for one minute. Any alternative methods for dish washing/sanitizing must be approved by regulatory authorities.
  • Do not use any equipment with water line connections. This includes but is not limited to beveragedispensing machines, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers, spray misters, filters, coffee/tea urns, etc.

After the water advisory is lifted, complete the following procedures with an approved water source:

  • Flush all pipes and faucets. Run hot and cold water faucets for at least 5 minutes.
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize all sinks before resuming use.
  • Discard ice in ice machines that was produced with water during the water advisory.
  • Flush, clean, and sanitize all equipment connected to water lines according to the manufacturers’ instructions. This includes but is not limited to beverage-dispensing machines, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers, spray misters, filters, coffee/tea urns, etc.
    • Contact beverage distributor for post-mix machine cleaning instructions.
  • Run the empty dishwasher through the wash-rinse-sanitize cycle at least three times to flush the water lines and assure that the dishwasher is cleaned and sanitized inside before washing dishes and utensils in it.
    • Consult manufacturer instructions or contact product representative if further instructions are needed.
    • For chemical sanitizing machines, use approved test kit to ensure appropriate sanitizer strength has been reached.
    • For high temperature machines, the hot water temperature must reach 180°F.
  • After cleaning and sanitizing equipment, use dish washer to wash and sanitize any dirty dishes remaining since closure.
  • Run water softeners through a generation cycle.
  • Flush drinking fountains by running water continuously for at least five minutes.
  • After completing the above procedures, notify your health inspector before resuming food operations.

For more information, please call the Department of Inspections and Appeals at 515.281.6538.