Food safety after flood is key

September 20, 2018

When your home is flooded, is the food stored in cabinets and refrigerators salvageable?

It’s all about whether the food items came into contact with flood water and how it’s packaged. You should never eat food that came into direct contact with flood water and you should get rid of anything that is not in a waterproof container.

The Food and Drug Administration says waterproof containers include undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and “retort pouches,” such as flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches.

Food containers that are not considered waterproof are anything with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps.

Also, toss out any cardboard juice,milk or baby formula boxes or any home canned foods if they came in contact with flood water because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.

With any salvageable products, you should remove labels because they harbor bacteria. Thoroughly wash the containers, then air dry at least an hour before opening or storing. Make sure to use them as soon as possible.

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