Businesses prepared for power outages

What happens to major businesses when a power outage occurs?

When the power goes out, most people have an emergency plan in their home to help get them through.

What about larger businesses, particularly restaurants, or grocery stores, where a lot of perishable foods are?

It turns out, they have one too.

“We have a contingency plan that kicks in right away,” said Rejean Perrault, store manager at Overwaitea Foods. “First off, we make sure that there’s somebody in the building for the entire time of the power outage. We do temperature monitoring on all of our cases.”

Perrault said in the event of a longer power outage, the employees will remove product from the cases and put them in freezers to hold the temperature.

“Our main concern is food safety. We want to make sure people aren’t buying a product that’s been out of the safe temperature zones.”

Safe temperature zones would be anything between between four degrees Celsius and sixty degrees Celsius, depending on the product. Once power is restored, they check products that might have fallen outside these temperature zones. If the temperature is either too high or too low, the product would have to be tossed.

Restaurants have a similar plan in place.

“Whatever bills we have that we’re currently cooking, we finish cooking, and then we turn everything off because everything is gas fired,” said Wade Denesyk, head chef at the K2 Rotor Lodge restaurant.

Food in the kitchens is also put into the coolers, which aren’t opened again until the power comes back on.

When he came in this morning, the first thing Denesyk did was check everything out.

“Anything that was prepped fresh yesterday, I wasn’t too worried about, but any of our proteins, fish, seafood, meat, I went in there with a fine tooth comb over the whole kitchen.”

When the power outage happened on Nov. 17, staff quickly went to work making sure any customers that were in the restaurant were safe and comfortable.

“We gather lanterns, we gather candles, so if there are people in here still eating, we want to make sure they’re comfortable, so they can finish their meals at least,” said Brenda Morden, head server at the K2 Rotor Lodge restaurant.

There were about seven tables being served that night, including people who were about to try and restore power to the area.

“We got them fed so they could get out on the road so they could get the power back on,” she said. “They did a great job. They worked really hard.”


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