Preparing your business for blackouts

28 October, 2022

Hospitality businesses will need to ensure they have a plan in place to avoid loss of stock and to maintain food safety standards in the "unlikely" event of blackouts towards the end of this year.

A number of weeks ago, National Grid suggested that, should the UK's gas and electricity supply run low simultaneously, the country could potentially face planned blackouts on weekdays between 16:00 and 19:00 across rotational locations.

If the blackouts go ahead (which at the moment we are told is unlikely, but still possible), hospitality operators need to plan ahead to ensure they're fully prepared...

  • Fridges and freezers should be regularly serviced and maintained, appliance doors should be kept closed and the inside space should not be overcrowded
  • Fridges and freezers could be set to colder temperatures than usual in the hour before the planned blackout
  • Ensure fridges and freezers can maintain their temperature by checking they have curtains, bristles and seals, all in good condition
  • Ice machines should be cleaned and sanitised following manufacturer's instructions and ice disposed of following blackouts
  • Place a probe between food in fridges and regularly record the temperature (any food above 8 degrees or below -15 degrees must be discarded)

It is worth knowing that a working fridge will keep food at a safe temperature for up to four hours; so with the blackouts planned to last three hours, all food items should be fit for consumption. However, if an appliance is without power for four hours or more, action must be taken.

British Beer and Pub Association Chief Executive, Emma McClarkin said:

"Many operators have taken measures to ensure they can keep trading, from reducing opening ours to changing menu options, but blackouts could result in a a tremendous loss of stock that businesses simply will not be able to recover."

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