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Residential Food Safety


Food Safety Guidelines

  • Do not eat any food which may have come in contact with floodwater. Discard any food that is not stored in a waterproof container if there is any chance it has come in contact with floodwater.
  • Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the can labels, thoroughly wash the cans, then disinfect them with a solution consisting of ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected.
  • If the power was off, throw away all discolored or foul-smelling food, especially meat, poultry and fish in the refrigerator.
  • Freezer foods may last from 48 to 72 hours if the freezer is full and the door remained closed. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still “refrigerator” cold or refrozen if it still contains ice crystals. Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two (2) hours or more and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • Discard fruits and vegetables that have come in contact with floodwaters.