Helpful food safety tips during and after disasters.

From the <a href=”http://paper.li/AllHandsDotNet/em”>AllHandsDotNet daily</a> (very informative!) came a great little nugget.

Great page on the USDA website about food safety during and after a disaster. I especially like the information for after a flood on which foods can and cannot be eaten as well as how to salvage food you have after a flood.

Q. Flood waters covered our food stored on shelves and in cabinets. What can I keep and what should I throw out?
A. Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.

  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.

Steps to Salvage All-Metal Cans and Retort Pouches
Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:

  • Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
  • Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
  • Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
  • Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
  • Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
    • Place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
    • Place in a freshly made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
  • Air-dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
  • If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
  • Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
  • Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.

About PapaSwamp

Apex predator, preparedness whacko.
This entry was posted in Food, hurricane preps, prep, survival and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Helpful food safety tips during and after disasters.

  1. would it be a good preventive to keep items in Rubbermaid containers sealed with silicon? Or ar 5 gallon buckets better?

    • PapaSwamp says:

      I think either or is fine as long as the rubbermaid containers aren’t too large.mthe tendency seems to be to over load them. Rubbermaid isn’t as rigid, thus the flexing will cause the seal to be easily broken. Over loading tends to make them difficult to move and again the flex issue. I prefer 5 gallon buckets due to their rigidity, multifunction and easy of moving ( think checking stock and rotating).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s