If flood waters covered food stored on shelves and in cabinets, what should you keep and what should you throw out? Many food items are unsafe once they come in contact with flood water. Here is a guide of what to keep and what to discard: â€¢ Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water â€“ this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs. |
Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screwâ€쳌caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized. â€¢ Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheelâ€쳌type can opener.
How do I salvage canned items? Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in allâ€쳌metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelfâ€쳌stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following: â€¢ Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria. â€¢ Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available. â€¢ Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt. â€¢ Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation. â€¢ Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways: â€¢ Place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or â€¢ Place 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) for 15 minutes. â€¢ Airâ€쳌dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing. â€¢ If the labels were removable, then reâ€쳌label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker. â€¢ Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter. â€¢ Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, allâ€쳌metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water
How should I clean my pots, pans, dishes, and utensils? Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). How should I clean my countertops? Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air dry.
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