Flooding Information for Food Establishments

Exposure to contaminated flood waters increases the risk of illness due to Norovirus and other disease-causing organisms. Individuals who are ill with vomiting or diarrhea should not work in food establishments for a minimum of 48 after symptoms stop.

Closing food establishments after a flood

Department policy specifies criteria for closing, inspecting, and reopening food establishments following a flood. Food facilities that meet any of the following criteria should close until approved for reopening by the Department:

  • Drinking water well serving the food establishment was flooded.
  • Any part of the food establishment was flooded.
  • Sewage backed up into the facility.
  • Sewage from the food facility is flooding into someone's basement or in the vicinity of the food establishment.
  • Customers or staff need to walk through sewage-contaminated water to get into the facility.
  • Plumbing does not drain and toilets are not usable by staff.
  • There is no power.
  • Other hazards compromise food safety in the facility.

Should any of these conditions exist, the food establishment must close and obtain permission from the Department of Health prior to reopening. more


Office of Food Protection

Office of Drinking Water Quality
(for reporting flooded wells)