Do retail food establishments have guidelines under a boil water order?

Yes, public water systems issue Boil Water Orders to notify their users when the drinking water is not safe to consume. A boil water order is issued when there is a coliform bacteria violation, when the water turbidity is over 5.0 NTU, when the water pressure is less than 20 PSI, or when there is a waterborne disease outbreak.

The retail food establishment manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with food safety requirements when under a Boil Water Order.

Following are temporary measures that can be taken under a Boil Water Order:

Drinking Water

  • Use commercially bottled water; or
  • Use water that has been kept at a rolling boil for at least 1 minute, or
  • Use water brought in from an approved public water supply in a covered, sanitized container.

Beverages Made with Water

  • Do not use post-mix carbonated beverage machines, auto-fill coffee makers, instant hot water heaters, ice machines, etc. using auto-fill methods 

Ice Making

  • Discard existing ice and do not make more ice.
  • Use commercially manufactured ice.

Cooking

  • Use commercially bottled water, or
  • Use water that has been kept at a rolling boil for at least one minute; or
  • Use water brought in from an approved public water supply in a covered, sanitized container.

Handwashing

  • Use commercially bottled water, or
  • Use water that has been kept at a rolling boil for at least 1 minute; or
  • Use water brought in from an approved public water supply in a covered, sanitized container.
  • Handwashing procedures must follow the Texas Food Establishment Rules. The water temperature for handwashing must be a minimum of 100° Fahrenheit.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Tableware and Utensils

  • Only use single-service items.

After the Public Water System lifts the Boil Order Notice, the Retail Food Establishment Must:

  • Flush pipes / faucets for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flush, clean and sanitize equipment with water line connections according to manufacturer’s directions
  • Flush drinking water fountains for at least 5 minutes.
  • Clean and sanitize the ice machine. Discard the first batch of new ice.


Additional questions or concerns can be directed to the Retail Food Safety Group at 512-834-6753

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1. How many sets of plans are needed for new home construction?
2. What types of projects require a permit?
3. Do retail food establishments have guidelines under a boil water order?
4. What is the zoning of my property?
5. Is my property in the Town or the ETJ?
6. Why does the Town of Argyle require building permits?
7. What are some of the common permits I should be concerned with?
8. How does one get a permit?
9. Can I do the work myself or must I hire a contractor?
10. What is the requirement for contractors working within the Town?
11. How do inspections work?
12. Who do I need to contact for water connections?