During and following natural disasters, particularly floods and tsunamis, food may become contaminated by surface water that has itself been contaminated by pathogenic bacteria from sewage and wastewaters from sewer systems, septic tanks, and latrines as well as from farms and farm animal. |
When doing a flood damage cleanup procedure one main concern should be in how to deal with the preparing of food. Related to this is what one must do with the food, eating utensil and cooking paraphernalia that were likewise affected by the dirty flood water.
Wash all pots, pans and other cooking equipment meticulously before using them. However, if you spot any damage or chipping on any cookware or eating utensil then it is advisable to dispose of it immediately.
Before cooking any bottled or canned food check the exterior surface first. If the bottle has a crack or the cap was removed from the sealer, do not attempt to cook the food or try to sample it. Same goes with the canned good. If the can became out of shaped or if the can exhibits rust then better dispose it as the contents may be contaminated and could cause food spoilage. Any food item that was left opened and uncovered should not be salvaged and must be thrown away immediately for it may have already contained toxic organic materials that came along with the flood water. Aside form this a flood damage cleanup requires that water taps should be cleaned out and properly disinfected before being used again.
In conformity with any flood damage cleanup process, food shelves including the refrigerator shelves should be properly cleaned out with warm soapy water applied by a clean cloth rag. Rinse the mentioned surfaces with another clean cloth rag soaked in clean tap water. Do not forget to disinfect by mixing one-fourth cup of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water. Carefully apply the disinfecting solution after rinsing the surfaces off. Open the refrigerator door to allow the interior to dry. As a precaution, before turning on the refrigerator or using it again, make sure that it has been properly inspected by an expert, and that you were given a go signal to use it. Otherwise refrain from turning on the refrigerator especially if it was submerged in flood since the water may have damaged its built-in motor.
Similarly, the porosity of your cooking utensils or wares have a big impact on the cleanliness of the food you prepare at home. And as you employ the flood damage cleanup in your kitchen it is advisable to dispose off your wooden chopping board if it came into contact with the flood water. The reason behind this is that the more porous the material, like wood, the greater is the chance and incidence of contamination because the harmful microbes could set deeply into the wood material. And while most flood damage cleanup activities only treat surfaces superficially even in the act of putting a disinfectant, it is better to acquire a replacement of these wooden items than risk cross contamination.
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