Food Safety after a Storm
Published 14th November 2008, 8:4am
Disasters, such as hurricanes, can result in the loss of power which can jeopardize the safety of your food. Knowing how to determine if food is safe, and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of food borne illness. "Practicing food safety is especially vital after disasters such as Hurricane Paloma where there is lack of potable water and electricity," says Food Safety Officer Gideon Simms. "People need to do all they can to reduce their risks of getting ill after a natural disaster." Officials from the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) are asking the public to be vigilant in practicing the following food safety tips to reduce their chances of becoming ill: Food Safety Practices after a Hurricane/Disaster
- Practice basic sanitation.
- Wash hands prior to handling food and after using the toilet or handling contaminated materials.
- Use disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizers if no water is available for washing.
- All items should be washed in detergent solution, brushed clean and rinsed in potable water and a disinfectant solution.
- Glass, porcelain, china and plastic should be immersed in a 10% chlorine bleach solution.
- Silverware and metal pots and pans should be boiled for 10 minutes.
- All utensils should be washed in potable water and then air-dried.
- Soft, porous plastic and wooden items that have come in contact with contaminated water should be discarded.
- Storage areas such as cupboards that have been exposed to floodwater should be sanitized with a 10% bleach solution before kitchen utensils are placed in them.
- Produce, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, and root vegetables.
- Food in open containers and packages.
- Submerged, unopened glass jars that have cardboard lid liners.
- Jars with broken seals.
- All food in cardboard boxes, paper foil, cellophane or cloth.
- All food in canisters e.g. spices and staples such as sugar.
- All cans that are dented, leaking or rusting.
- All food that has exceeded the expiration date.
- Raw and cooked foods should be prepared in different areas.
- Utensils used with raw food should not be used for cooked food.
- Hands and utensils should be thoroughly washed after handling raw food and before handling cooked food.