flood food safety

Post Flood Food Safety


In the case of a natural disaster, what should one do…specifically about post-flood food safety? Here are some popular questions that consumers ask.

If the flood waters reach your pantry or cupboards, what should be thrown out and not eaten?

Once most food touches flood water, it becomes unsafe to consume. Things like raw fruit, vegetables and cartons of milk and eggs. If the container is not waterproof (like in plastic bags or cardboard), throw the contents out. The flood waters can enter through the packaging and seep into the products. Even if it seems safe, so thing like cardboard juice /milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods should be discarded because they cannot be effectively sanitised.

How do I save canned food?

First step is to remove any labels on the metal can or retort pouch (this is where the bacteria is being harboured). Secondly, thoroughly wash the can or pouch with soap and hot water. Brush the excess dirt off. You need to go through another immersion before it is safe to eat. One way to do this is to place in boiling water for 2 minutes or place the can in a freshly made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for15 minutes

How do I clean my cooking utensils?

Much like the canned food, wash them in soap and hot water. Afterwards, sanitise using the above methods.

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