• Action 9: Central Florida restaurants work to reopen after Hurricane Irma

    By: Todd Ulrich

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Restaurants in Central Florida that lost power during Hurricane Irma were still working to get their doors back open Wednesday.

    At Zaza, a Cuban restaurant on Curry Ford Road, customers were asked to be patient because the business had been without power since Sunday night.

    “Needless to say, when you lose power, you have to basically start like a new opening,” Zaza’s owner said. “We’re just basically cleaning up and disinfecting everything.”

    During storms like Hurricane Irma, state emergency guidelines go into effect for restaurants.

    The guidelines stress food temperature safety and everything refrigerated or frozen must meet the standards. 

    When a food product reaches a temperature of 42 degrees or higher for four hours, it must be thrown out, state regulations require.

    If a city or county water supply is shut down, a restaurant’s doors have to stay shut, University of Central Florida associate professor Dr. Kevin Murphy said. 

    “I your water is out, you can’t operate,” he said. “You can’t sanitize things. You dishes, silverware can’t be washed. A whole host of things.”

    At Zaza, Thursday’s reopening will be a fresh, safe restart, the restaurant’s owner said. 

    “Fresh, ready to go and fresh,” he said.

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