Western UP Health Department

Leading The Community Toward Better Health

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July 27, 2021 – Residents and businesses in portions of Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties have been impacted by prolonged power outages following strong storms overnight.

WUPHD reminds food establishment operators to follow the power outage recovery instructions in their “Emergency Action Plans for Retail Food Establishments” guide (the yellow emergency book) provided to them by the health department.  Establishments without both power and water must close.

Residents should be aware that during a prolonged power outage, domestic refrigerators can only keep food at safe temperatures for about four hours, if unopened.  A full freezer will hold temperature for about 48 hours if full (24 hours if half full).    A food thermometer should be used to examine potentially hazardous foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, cooked leftovers, deli cold cuts/salads, and other perishable foods prior to consumption.  Perishable foods should be discarded when the food temperature has been above 40 degrees F for over 2 hours.

Private water wells used by residents and businesses for drinking water may need to be tested for coliform bacteria or disinfected if system pressure was lost during the power outage.

If utilizing a generator please be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Generators should not be used indoors, in garages, or near enclosed space.  Ensure the generator is not operated directly below windows as exhaust and carbon monoxide can build up inside the home.   Carbon monoxide is deadly. 

Emergency Action Plans for Food Service Establishments

Food Safety in a Power Outage

Generator Safety in a Power Outage