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
Do not save any of the following foods if they have come in contact with floodwater:
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
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
1 Tablespoon bleach (5.25% concentration) + 1 gallon water
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!
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