ANFP Practice Standards: Emergency Planning
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Professional Standards of Practice serve as the basis for quality dietetic practice for dietary managers. The standards that follow provide guidelines for dietary managers to use when developing emergency continuity plans for disasters.
Other Practice Standards
Last Updated June 2011
This Emergency Planning Practice Standard is an emergency contingency plan with an emphasis on continuing service. Have you considered what imminent disaster you are most likely to encounter? Everyone has incurred an interruption of electrical service, but what if it lasted for several days? Fire is the most common of all business disasters, but consider how you would handle a hurricane, tornado, flood, missing residents, or terrorist attack. The list of disasters could go on and on, but the basic principles covered below will be pertinent in most cases.
Ask yourself, "Are we adequately prepared to continue service in any kind of disaster?" If not, enlist an interdisciplinary team to assist in creating a plan that focuses on preparedness, ease of implementation, sustainability, and recovery.
The certified dietary manager (CDM) shall ensure that an emergency continuity plan is in place that covers customers, employees, facilities, power, communications, materials, and technology.
1.1 Planning for an emergency includes knowing the regulations or guidelines for disaster planning for your own state, county, or city.
1.2 Your facility emergency plan is included in the city, county, or state evacuation plans.
1.3 Planning for an emergency includes considering risks from natural disasters as well as man-made disasters such as chemical spills, biological contamination, workplace violence, fire, and computer-virus attack.
1.4 The emergency plan includes an evaluation plan.
1.5 The emergency plan includes consideration for employees and employees’ families, including pets.
1.6 All vendors with whom business is conducted also have an emergency plan in place.
1.7 The emergency plan includes reviewing insurance coverage and who is responsible for proper documentation including, but not limited to, pictures and recording food service department losses.
1.8 The emergency plan includes plans for trash collection or holding.
1.9 The emergency plan is updated annually or more often if staff or processes change with each department maintaining an upto-date plan.
1.10 Foodservice staff receives training on the emergency plan and knows their roles and their importance in care during a disaster.
1.11 Computer data is backed up daily and there is off-site storage contingency plan.
1.12 The plan contains data such as after-hours contact information, emergency supplier/vendor contact information, emergency contact information for utilities and contractors, and employee contact information including current cell phone numbers of designated employees, and maps to employees’ homes.
1.13 A copy of the plan is kept both onsite and offsite.
1.14 Each phase of the emergency plan includes step-by-step processes and a prioritization of which steps are critical and must continue, and which steps can wait. (See example at end of this article.)
1.15 A back-up generator is available, checked monthly, and outlets covered by the generator are designated (such as red outlet covers).
1.16 The emergency plan is tested annually utilizing an unannounced facility-wide drill.
1.1 Documentation exists for employee training on the emergency plan including responsibility to report to work per facility policy and procedures; training records are maintained in the foodservice department.
1.2 Updated emergency plan contains administrative and department head signatures.
1.3 Documentation exists for coordination with city, county, or state emergency plans.
1.5 Data from the test of the emergency plan is available; changes, if needed, are documented.
The CDM shall ensure that an emergency menu is planned and ready for any disaster. The menu shall meet the nutritional needs of the clientele as well as the facility staff for a minimum of seven days, including food, water, and chemicals.
1.1 An emergency menu where water supply is affected is planned and includes:
- Food items that require no water for preparation.
- Maintaining an inventory of bottled water (minimum of one gallon of water per person per day or an agreement with a vendor to supply this amount of potable water). Stored water is replaced every 6 months.
- Collapsible containers to transport water.
- A supply of disposable products such as plates, cups, flatware, and trays.
- Disposable gloves and hand sanitizers for a minimum of seven days.
- A contingency plan for cooking equipment that uses water.
- A contingency plan for bathroom facilities.
- A contingency plan to cook with minimal water supply.
- Directions on how to clean and sanitize food equipment without water.
- How to document food and other losses for insurance purposes.
1.2 The emergency menu includes a plan for delivery of food without elevator support or vehicle delivery.
1.3 An emergency menu where electrical service is interrupted is planned and includes:
- Ready-to-serve canned meat, vegetables, and fruits.
- Canned juices, shelf-stable milk, tube-feeding formula, and oral supplements.
- A current agreement with a vendor to supply ice or ice blankets.
- Contact information for companies that have refrigerated trucks or generators.
- How to minimize loss by using refrigerated food immediately, frozen food next, etc.
- A contingency plan for foodservice equipment that uses electricity such as cash registers, ovens, lighting (e.g. access to a manual can opener).
1.4 An emergency menu when a flood or sewage backup occurs is planned and includes:
- A variety of food products stored in secured areas such as high shelving, away from sewer lines and pipes.
- A supply of bleach and formulas for dilution.
- A contingency plan for using bathroom facilities without water including hand washing.
- A contingency plan for water if potable water is contaminated.
- Reference to the “Affected Water Supply” plan if potable water is contaminated.
- Contact information for plumbers or emergency personnel who can assist you.
1.5 Staff members receive training on how to implement these plans and where to locate them in an emergency.
1.6 Contingency menu supplies are checked/replaced/rotated every six months.
1.1 Training records for foodservice staff are evaluated to make sure all have received training.
1.2 Documentation for checking or replacing menu supplies is available.
Example of an Emergency Plan for Interruption of Electrical Service
An interruption of electrical service is defined as two hours or more.
Response: Affected Operations
Note the time the power outage begins AND
- Monitor and record food temperatures every two hours.
- Utilize refrigerated items first, then frozen food items.
- Keep refrigeration equipment doors closed.
- Pack potentially hazardous food in commercially-made ice or dry ice (note the precautions for using dry ice).
- Do not put hot food into refrigeration equipment.
- Plan ahead for trips in and out of the coolers or freezers to minimize the number of times the door is opened.
Hot Food Holding
Note the time the power outage begins AND
- Discard all potentially hazardous foods that have been held below 140 degrees F for more than four hours OR
- Use an alternate heat source such as “canned heat” and monitor temperatures hourly. Note: If power returns within four hours, reheat food to 165 degrees F.
These standards are designed to help CDMs be prepared in the event of an emergency affecting the foodservice operation. Following these guidelines is key to making sure you’re ready to effectively deal with an extended power outage or other potential disaster scenario in your foodservice department.
Susan Davis Allen, MS, RD, CHE originally wrote this standard. It was updated in April 2011 by Becky Rude, MS, RD, CDM, CFPP. Allen is an advisor to the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers. Rude serves as chair of that board. Both have authored many publications for ANFP and other professional groups.