Guidelines for Flooded Areas Regarding Food Safety
In addition to other impurities, flood waters may also contain sewage, heavy metals, petroleum products, and foodborne pathogens. Some pollutants can neither be eliminated through correct cooking techniques nor by conventional cleaning and sanitation efforts (product reconditioning). According to the FDA, many food items must be disposed of after coming into contact with floodwaters.
A plan for food and water during a disaster and what to do afterward should be in place both before and after weather emergencies. Knowing how to assess food safety and maintain food safety can help to decrease food loss and lower the likelihood of contracting a foodborne illness. You must first turn off the water supply to the device or feature that is causing the flooding in your kitchen. If the refrigerator is the source of the leak, for instance, turn off the water to it. After that, turn off the electricity to the nearby gadgets. You can prevent electric shocks and fires with the help of this step. Make every effort to keep the water in your flooded kitchen as long as you can. To do this, use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, heaps of towels, or a mop to collect the water.
In our regular lives, we follow the fundamentals of safe food handling, but during a power outage or a natural disaster like a flood, getting and keeping food properly becomes more difficult. Keep a thermometer for appliances in the freezer and refrigerator. In the event of a power outage, an appliance thermometer will show the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer and assist in determining the food’s safety. Make sure the refrigerator is no warmer than 40 °F and the freezer is no warmer than 0 °F (Fahrenheit). After the power goes out, freeze water containers to use as ice to keep food cold in coolers, freezers, and refrigerators.
Know where to acquire block ice and dry ice in advance. If you won’t be using leftovers, milk, fresh meat, or poultry right away, consider freezing them so they stay at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. In the event of floods, keep food on shelves that will be safely out of the path of contaminated water. Additionally, if the power will be off for longer than four hours, keep coolers on hand to keep food from the refrigerator cold. To use in the refrigerator or a cooler, buy or manufacture ice cubes and put them in the freezer. For use in coolers, freeze gel packs in advance. Food will stay cold for a longer period of time if you store it in groups in the freezer.
Closing the doors to the freezer and refrigerator is advised. If the refrigerator door is not opened, food can be kept safely chilled for around 4 hours. If food is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and still has ice crystals on it, it can be safely refrozen. If the power is going to be off for a long time, get block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible. Check the freezer’s temperature using an appliance thermometer or food thermometer if there have been several days without power. After four hours without electricity, throw away perishable things that should be kept in the refrigerator, such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli goods.
Be quick to take action if your kitchen is flooded to reduce the damage. If water damage is not properly repaired, it can result in mold and other serious issues. As soon as you can, call a Water Damage Restoration Westwood 90024 professional.
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