September 24, 2021

How to Recover Food After Flooding From Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida has made landfall in Louisiana and catastrophic flooding has affected thousands. After a flood, there are things you can do to recover food after flooding, according to the FDA. Please note that only food that is packaged in completely waterproof containers is salvageable.

How to Recover Food After Flooding From Hurricane Ida

For water, boiling and disinfecting with bleach will cost most, but not all, disease-causing pathogens. First, filter water through clean cloths, or let it settle and draw off the lear water. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store in clean containers. Or add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Stir it and let stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.

Food containers that are waterproof including undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all metal cans and retort pouches like flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood products. Food containers that are not waterproof include screw caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Home canned food is not waterproof. Cardboard juice, milk, or baby formula boxes are not waterproof. All non waterproof foods must be discarded if they have come into contact with flood water.

First, examine the cans. If there is any damage, in other words, cans with selling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing or denting so you can’t open them with a regular can opened, discard them. Second, remove the labels, rinse off any dirt, and wash using soap and hot water. Make sure you rinse the cans or pouches with water that is safe for drinking. Third, sanitize them by putting the cans or pouches in boiling water for 2 minutes, or immerse in a freshly made solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of safe water for 15 minutes. Then air dry them for at least 1 hour before you use or store them. Relabel the containers with a permanent marking pen.

Finally, make sure that you sanitize your can openers and dishes as well. Wash with soap and water, and boil in clean water for 2 minutes or immerse them for 15 minutes in the same type of bleach solution.

Now that you know how to recover food after flooding, you can keep your family safe during severe weather.

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