Food Safety: During & After Flooding |

Food Safety: During & After Flooding

In the event of flooding, having a plan in place for food safety is beneficial. Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help reduce the potential for food waste and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Here are some tips to keeping your food safe.

Food Safety Tips

If you know flooding is going to happen, keep an adequate supply of food, water and emergency equipment on hand. For example, here is a list of supplies and tips to start your flood preparation:

Canned foods that will feed you (and/or your family) for 4-5 days

Hand can opener

Fill bathtub and large containers with water. Each person will need a gallon of water per day

Camp stove with fuel to operate

Flashlights, candles, matches, kerosene lamp

Battery-powered radio plus extra batteries

First-aid kit

Do not save any of the following foods if they have come in contact with floodwater:

Fresh produce

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs

Containers of nuts, spices, and seasonings

Canisters or bags of grains, sugar, salt, coffee and tea

Plastic bags of food, even if they are unopened in cardboard boxes, such as pasta, cereal, rice, crackers or mixes

Paper, plastic, cloth, cardboard boxes of food

Foods in glass jars

Jarred foods with waxed cardboard seals, such as mayonnaise or salad dressing

Home-canned foods

Is the food in my freezer safe to eat?

Read Power Outages and Food in Your Freezer to determine if and how long your food is safe in your freezer.

How do I disinfect canned food items?

Remove labels as paper can harbor dangerous bacteria

Use a permanent marker to re-label each canned food item

Wipe away any dirt or silt

Wash in hot, soapy water

Soak for 15 minutes in bleach solution

Allow to air dry

Use as soon as possible as some containers may rust

Sanitizing Solution

1 Tablespoon bleach (5.25% concentration) + 1 gallon water

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

–SDSU Extension