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Food & Seafood Boil Water Notice Guidelines

Boil Water Notice, by Authority of 18 AAC 31.500, Alaska Administrative Code
These procedures must be observed while a boil water notice is in effect:

Tap Water

  • Do not serve water from faucets until ADEC-Drinking Water Program advises the water is safe for consumption. Use only water from an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water. Boil water for two minutes to kill infectious organisms.
  • Another method for areas without power is to mix 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented household bleach per gallon of water and allow to stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy in appearance, add 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) and let stand for 30 minutes. (Water will not be toxic, but may have a chlorine odor and taste.) Note: Using bleach will not kill all parasites that may be present; however boiling will kill all parasites. Contact your local Environmental Health Officer to help you assess which foods must be discarded.

Processing Water and Water Used to Make Ice (Not For Human Consumption) Must Be:

  • Sampled for coliform bacteria contamination before beginning operations and once every 30 days during the operational season. (18 AAC 34.080 (b) (1‐5))
  • Disinfected to maintain measureable residual free chlorine – document residual chlorine readings. (18 AAC 34.080 (b) (1‐5))
  • Both conditions described above must continue to be met until the Boil Water Notice has been lifted.

Ice, Ice-Making, Beverage & Water Vending (For Human Consumption)

  • Ice bagged or made prior to the issuance of the boil water notice may be used.
  • Ice produced in ice machines after the issuance of a boil water notice must be discarded and machines not restarted until the water supply is deemed safe by the ADEC Drinking Water Program. Sanitize the interior of the ice machine, ice trays and built‐in ice‐makers with two teaspoons (100 + ppm) of household bleach in one gallon of water prior to restarting the ice machine or ice‐maker.
  • Disconnect or turn off water vending machines, drinking fountains, misters, ice‐making units and soda machines to prevent their use.
  • Filters in water lines should be replaced if the water supplier detected bacteria in the water samples or if debris accumulation is observed in the filter(s). Information regarding the presence of bacteria will be provided by your water supplier or through the news media.

Handwashing

  • Do not use tap water for handwashing. Use only water from an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water (safely cooled).
  • Set up temporary handwash sinks using water from an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water.

Cooking and Food Preparation

  • Discard any ready‐to‐eat food prepared with water prior to the discovery of the water contamination. Contact your local Environmental Health Officer to help you assess which foods must be discarded.
  • Prepare/cook read‐to‐eat food using the drinking water alternatives listed above.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables with boiled or alternate approved source only.
  • Do not use tap water for food processing or food preparation until the “Boil Water Notice” is lifted by the ADEC Drinking Water Program. Use only water from an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water for these purposes.

Cleaning

  • Food equipment, utensils and food‐contact surfaces that must be cleaned in place (does not fit into a three‐compartment sink), should be cleaned using the proper clean in place procedures using an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water.
  • Maintain sanitizer buckets for wiping cloths at 100ppm.

Dishwashing/Warewashing

  • Manually wash, rinse and sanitize dishes, food equipment and utensils with water from an alternate approved source and/or boiled tap water utilizing a three‐compartment sink in the approved manner. Use single‐service articles when possible.
  • Mechanical dishwashers may be used only to remove food residue and debris, if followed by a manual wash, rinse and sanitization as described above.

Rescinding the Boil Water Notice

  • You will be advised by ADEC ‐ Drinking Water Program directly or through the news media when a “Boil Water Notice” has been rescinded (lifted). After the “Boil Water Notice” is lifted, allow water to run for five minutes at each tap to flush the lines with safe water. Remember to include misters, drinking fountains, ice makers (discard the first binful), soda machines, etc., when flushing the lines. If you require further information, please contact your local water supplier.

If you have questions about the Boil Water Notice Guidelines, please contact the ADEC Food Safety Hotline 1‐877‐233‐3663.