Post-Disaster Food Safety
Food establishments may have experienced several different imminent health hazards* which could compromise food safety. Food establishment experiencing an imminent health hazard are required to cease operations and notify the Houston Health Department Bureau of Consumer Health Services at CHS@houstontx.gov of the closure. Establishments closed due to an imminent health hazard must also request approval from Consumer Health Services to resume food operations.
Please refer to the appropriate documents for each situation that applies to your establishment.
Loss of Power
Water Service Interruption and Boil Water Notices
Flood, Water Infiltration, and Structural Damage
*City of Houston Food Ordinance Ch. 20.21.2(d)
(d) Imminent health hazard.
(1) Ceasing operations and reporting. a. Except as specified in item (2) of this subsection, a food establishment shall immediately discontinue operations and notify the regulatory authority if an imminent health hazard may exist because of an emergency, such as a fire, flood, power outage, sewage water back-flow, extended interruption of electrical or water service, misuse of poisonous or toxic materials, onset of an apparent foodborne disease outbreak, gross unsanitary occurrence or condition or similar event, that might result in the contamination of food, or that might prevent time/temperature controlled for safety (TCS) food from being held at required temperatures, the person in charge shall immediately discontinue operation and contact the health officer. Upon receiving notice of this occurrence, the health officer shall, consistent with the nature of the emergency and the risks posed, take appropriate action as he deems necessary to protect the public health. b. A permit holder need not discontinue operations in an area of an establishment that is unaffected by the emergency occurrence.
(2) Resumption of operations. If operations are discontinued as specified under item (1) of this subsection or otherwise according to law, the permit holder shall obtain approval from the health officer before resuming operations.
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2022