As the flood waters recede and we begin the process of assessing the damage, we will need to assess the safety of the food in our pantries and cupboards. Please follow the following safety tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
-Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. If in doubt, throw it out.
-Do not eat food packed in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth and similar containers that have been water damaged.
-Discard food and beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops and home canned foods, if they have come in contact with flood water. These containers cannot be disinfected.
-Undamaged, commercially-prepared foods in all-metal cans or retort pouches can be saved if you remove the labels, thoroughly wash the cans, rinse them and then disinfect them with a sanitizing solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of potable water. Finally, re-label containers that had the labels removed, including the expiration date, with a marker.
For more information on food safety after an emergency, visit http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/