As Nebraskans are returning to their homes following the recent wild fires. Nebraska Extension has available resources to help answer and assist the decisions that need to be made following these tragedies.
Those affected by recent wildfires are likely unsure where to begin. It is vital that you follow safety guidelines that are being facilitated by area emergency management agencies.
When a home or buildings partially remain following a fire, note there is likely damage to the structure. People should try and save what they can but saving food that has been in a fire is not a good idea.
Foods in cans and jars may appear to be safe to keep, but they may be no longer safe to consume. The heat can cause jars and cans to split and crack allowing food spoilage bacteria is be activated. All food items need to be inspected to determine if they are safe to keep.
Fumes are one of the most dangerous elements of a fire. These toxic fumes released from burning materials can kill; they can also contaminate food. Any type of food stored in permeable packaging, cardboard, plastic wrap, etc. should be thrown away. Discard any raw foods stored outside refrigerator such as potatoes or fruit that could have been contaminated by fumes. Food in refrigerators or freezers can also have been contaminated. Discard all foods that were exposed to smoke fumes from a fire.
Further guidelines and consumer information can be found at:
https://cesonoma.ucanr.edu/Disaster_Resources/Fire/Produce_Safety_after_Urban_Wildfire/ -- food safety and produce growing