Monday, August 27, 2012

SE Louisiana restaurants prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac

The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) has been preparing for a weather-related event since early May, when it issued its first blog post on hurricane preparedness. This morning was spent conferring with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Louisiana Seafood Promotionand Marketing Board, sharing information about closures, supplies and return-to-work plans. We’ve also been glued to the news—both television and online.

To assist our members, the LRA reposted its Sample Hurricane Plan for Restaurants and shared on Facebook the May 1 blog post, "Do you have a game plan?" which contain five key points to prepare. Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association shared that post and the National Restaurant Association shared the points and some factors the Florida Hotel and Lodging Association provided its members. We also sent an e-mail blast to all members with important points for preparation this afternoon.

As the day progressed, we monitored and compiled a list of restaurant closures based on Twitter and Facebook updates and currently have them posted on our website. By no means is this list complete. As soon as we posted to, there were others announcing closures. The Gambit Weekly’s food writer Ian McNulty called earlier today and spoke with Erica Papillion, LRA Director of Communications, who said, “It looks like restaurants are choosing to close Tuesday and Wednesday, returning to normal business hours on Thursday, weather pending.”

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is standing by to re-inspect restaurants should it be necessary. has extensive information on power outages and hurricane food safety for both businesses and consumers. In addition, some businesses may require the DHH to document product loss and destruction of food products. Click here to contact a sanitarian in your area.

The DHH will make every effort to visit each establishment impacted by the storm as soon as they are cleared for re-entry, however, there are no current regulations in the Louisiana Administrative Code which restrict reopening a currently permitted retail food establishment following a storm.

The LRA will be virtually assessing the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center to assist where possible. We will continue to share relevant information as it becomes available and encourage you to monitor your local government and news for the latest on Tropical Storm Isaac.

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