The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has compiled some food safety tips for residents of Louisiana affected by the flood and those living in parishes currently under flood warning.
Parishes under flood warning include: Livingston, West Baton Rouge, Northern St. James, Northern St. John, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, East Baton Rouge, and Ascension. Those already affected include: Baton Rouge, Zachary, Baker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Melville, Oak Hills Place, Far northern portions of Reserve, Far Northern Portions of Laplace, St. Gabriel, Walker, Gramercy, Addis, Lutcher, and Brusly.
After a flood, don’t eat any food including raw fruits and vegetables, or cartons of milk or eggs, that may have come into contact with flood water. Throw away these foods and any others that are not in waterproof containers such as food packaged in plastic wrap, foods and beverages with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps or foods packaged in cardboard including cereals, cookies, crackers, and cartoons of milk, juice or baby formula. Flood waters, which contain dangerous bacteria, can seep through these types of packaging and contaminate foods.
The exterior of food cans that are not damaged can be sanitized. Damaged cans will be swollen, leaky, rusty or have holes or punctures or dents that prevent the cans from being opened.
Having trouble determining what can be salvaged? The USDA says, when in doubt, throw it out. For food safety tips after a power outage, click here.