Restaurants undergo inspections post-blackout to ensure safety

Posted: Updated:
FREEHOLD -

A powerful thunderstorm Monday left thousands of people across New Jersey without power – including many restaurants around the state.

As the power comes back on, there are actually rules in the state that restaurants must follow to ensure that the food that could have potentially spoiled due to lack of power, is safe to eat.

Many restaurant owners say that once the power went out, they had to throw out a lot of their products.

“Meats, cheeses, milk, butter, anything that had to be refrigerated or frozen went,” says Cindy Renschler, of Sweet Lew’s Café in Freehold.

RELATED: Utility crews make progress restoring power in New Jersey 

Renschler says that they would have done it anyway, but it's also required by law. In New Jersey, any restaurant that loses power for more than five hours, must close and then be inspected by the Health Department before reopening.

The owners of the nearby Metropolitan Café say that they are already out thousands of dollars due to lost food. They are now waiting for new, fresh food to come in before they can start serving customers once again.

“We spent all day yesterday discarding every piece of food in the house,” says Rob Kash. “We're basically starting over as band new kitchen. All of the food is new. The kitchen is cleaned completely.”

About 360,000 customers lost power during Monday’s storm. All power is expected to be restored by Friday evening.

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