October 23, 2017

Food and Water Safety After a Flood From the CDC

If you have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, or if you are in the path of Hurricane Irma, the CDC has some information you should know about food safety after a disaster or flood. First of all, always throw away any food that may have come into contact with flood or storm water. Also discard perishable foods, and those with an unusual color, odor, or texture. When in doubt, throw it out. Don't use your fireplace for cooking until the chimney has been inspected for cracks. Sparks can escape into your attic through a spark and start a fire. Remember that perishable foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and leftovers, must be discarded when the power has been off for four hours or more, even if they are refrigerated. Any food that still contains ice crystals … [Read more...]

Food and Water Safety Advice for Hurricane Harvey

The FDA is offering food safety and water safety advice for anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Food can be rendered unsafe by power outages and by contact with flood waters. If the power went out and perishable food has been above 40°F for more than 2 hours (more than 1 hour if the air temperature is at 90°F or above) it must be discarded. Cooking won't make this food safe, since bacteria can produce toxins that heat will not destroy. If the items stayed below 40°F and you are sure of this, cook them thoroughly to a safe minimum internal temperature before eating. Once power has been restored, check the temperature of appliance thermometers in the freezer and fridge. If the thermometers are 40°F or below, the food in the freezer can be refrozen. If you didn't have a … [Read more...]

USDA’s Food Safety Tips for Louisiana Flood Victims

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 … [Read more...]

Keep Food Safe After a Flood

There is terrible flooding in some parts of the United States. The FDA is offering advice on how to keep yourself safe from food poisoning after a flood. Flood water is usually filthy and filled with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It can carry E. coli bacteria, Salmonella, Shigella, hepatitis A, and tetanus. If you have time before a flood or weather emergency, make sure you have appliance thermometers in your fridge or freezer. Freeze containers of water to help keep food cold in the fridge, freezer, or coolers. Have a supply of bottled water stored where it will be above the flood water. If flooding occurs, only use water from a safe source for drinking, preparing food, and for washing. Bottled water that has not been exposed to flood water is safest. If you don't have … [Read more...]

Food Safety After a Flood

Wondering about food safety after a flood? Here is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recommends: If you have advance notice of heavy rains that may produce floodwaters, buy jugs of water and shelf-stable foods that can feed your family for a few days and store them in an area flood waters are not likely to reach. Keep a jug of liquid bleach and a cooler in the same area. Find out where you can purchase dry ice. Buy appliance thermometers for your freezer and fridge. In the freezer, gather food together this will help it stay cold longer.  If you lose power, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if you keep the door closed. A full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours,  a half-full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature … [Read more...]

USDA Tips for Florida and Alabama Residents Affected by Flooding

The USDA has issued food safety recommendations for citizen affected by a massive storm system that caused severe flooding in the Florida Panhandle and the Alabama Coast. More than 10 inches of rain was dropped by that weather system. Pensacola saw between 15 and 20 inches of rain in 24 hours as of Wednesday, April 30, 0214. The flooding is the worst that area has seen in 30 years. As many as 30,000 residents are without power. More rain and wind are expected, and flash flooding is going to be a reality across most of the eastern U.S. from southern New England to the Gulf Coast. Food that has been in a flood needs to be inspected carefully. Unless the food is canned or sealed commercially and the container can be washed in a bleach solution or boiled, it must be discarded. Any food … [Read more...]

USDA’s Food Safety Tips For Severe Weather

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has compiled some food safety tips for residents in the South and Midwest affected by severe weather. Here's what you need to know about food safety when sever weather is in the forecast. Before the storm strikes, make sure you have working appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. Safe temperatures for the fridge are 40°F or lower, in the freezer 0°F or lower. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or other small containers prior to a storm. Tuck them in between frozen foods to help keep them cold. Freeze any food you don't plan to eat in the immediate future such as leftovers, milk, fresh  or poultry. This will help to keep them at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. Group food together in the freezer … [Read more...]

Report on Colorado Flooding and Water Safety

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released more information about water safety and quality after severe flooding last month. Sampling shows no evidence of pollutants from oil and gas spills in rivers and streams affected by the flooding. The department collected samples at 29 sites in eight different rivers. They showed high levels of E. coli in some areas of the South Platte Basin. The highest concentrations were found in Boulder Creek and Big Thompson River watersheds. The presence of E. coli indicates that human and animal bacteria from untreated sewage is in the water in those areas. Thankfully, outbreaks of communicable diseases or E. coli illnesses have not been reported. Five public drinking water systems are still on no boil and/or bottled water … [Read more...]

E. coli Found in Lyons CO Drinking Water

After the massive flooding in Colorado, the state and several cities and municipalities warned residents to avoid flood water and issued boil orders. Now E. coli bacteria has been found in the water system in Lyons, Colorado. The town is in the foothills north of Boulder. The news was streamed over the internet on the Longmont Channel because City Hall is shut down. City administrator Victoria Simonsen said in that meeting, "we don't want you using any of the water, so it was turned off. It is critical we get that back up and get it disinfected before we would want any of you to be back." Officials said it could take up to six months before the town is livable. Lyons was previously under a "boil water" order. The contamination is most likely from raw sewage and livestock waste. For … [Read more...]

USDA’s Food Safety Tips For Flood Victims

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has compiled some food safety tips for flood victims in Nebraska.   Here is what the agency recommends: Before the storm, store food on shelves that will be out of the path of floodwaters. But appliance thermometers. In the freezer, gather food together,  to help it stay cold longer.  If you lose power, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the door closed. A full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours,  a half-full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for 24 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Before you eat food from a powerless fridge or freezer, check the temperature, if the thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is … [Read more...]

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