Sampson Independent | Food safety tips for areas affected by flooding or hurricanes – North Carolina News

Sampson Independent | Food safety tips for areas affected by flooding or hurricanes –  North Carolina News

Here are a few tips I found from the USDA to help us stay safe when we have weather that is out of our control. You may never have to deal with these hazards, but someone in your family in another state might be effected by these conditions, and you could share this information with them.

To keep food safe after a flood:

Do not eat any food that may have come in contact with flood water. This would include raw fruits and vegetables and cartons of milk or eggs. Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container, if there is a chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packages in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw-caps, 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. 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, or wheel-type can opener.

Steps to follow in advance of losing power:

Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40° F or lower inside the refrigerator; 0° F or lower in the freezer. Freeze water in one- quart plastic storage bags or smaller prior to a storm. These containers…

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