Keeping Food Safe During and After Hurricane Irene
Fairfield, New Jersey is expecting Hurricane Irene to hit at some point between Saturday night and Sunday. The hurricane force winds and heavy rain may cause power outages and flooding in our area. Power outages and flooding can contaminate food so its important to keep food safe during and after Hurricane Irene. You'll need to throw away any food that may not be safe to eat. When in doubt - throw it out!
- If it has an unusual odor, color or texture - throw it away.
- Throw away perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40°F for two hours or more.
- Thawed foods that contain ice crystals or are 40°F or below can be refrozen or cooked.
- Throw away any canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged, or those that came in contact with flood water.
- Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps, twist caps, flip tops, snap-open and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater. They cannot be disinfected.
- Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice or make baby formula. Do not drink contaminated water! If you handle food, use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- During a power outage and/or at the first sign of light flickering, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Only open them if its absolutely necessary and then immediately close it again.
For more information regarding hurricane preparedness and keeping food safe, visit: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/hurricanes.html; http://www.state.nj.us/health/er/natural.shtml and/or http://www.fema.gov/.
Keeping food safe during and after Hurricane Irene is important but YOUR SAFETY is more important.
STAY SAFE and WHEN IN DOUBT - THROW IT OUT!!!!!