After a storm, don’t risk losing your health to contaminated or spoiled food.
The following foods are safe if you wash and sanitize their containers before use. Also wash, sanitize and peel fruit or vegetables before eating or cooking.
Food to use
• Food in undamaged tin or aluminum cans. Be sure to wash and sanitize the food container before opening the can.
• Citrus fruit
• Apples and other fruit. Do not eat raw.
Food to discard
Do not attempt to save the following foods if there is any chance they have come in contact with floodwater or other contamination:
• Opened containers and packages.
• Unopened jars and bottles with paper seals, such as those containing mayonnaise or salad dressing.
• Containers of spices, seasonings and flavorings.
• Flour, sugar and coffee in canisters.
• Paper, cloth, fiber or cardboard boxes, even if the contents seem to be dry. This includes salt, cereals, pasta products, rice and any “sealed” packages of crackers or cookies within a larger paper box.
• Dented, bulging or leaking tin cans. Cans that have been tossed about and are found far from their usual storage spot. Seams on these cans may have been weakened or their seals broken, causing contamination or spoilage.
• Jam or jelly sealed with paraffin.
• Containers with non-sealed, fitted lids, such as cocoa or baking powder.
• Commercially bottled carbonated beverages, if the cap is crusted with silt.
• Foil or cellophane packaged foods.
• All fresh vegetables and fruit that do not have a peel, shell or coating that can be removed before use, such as leafy vegetables. Also, fruit with damage at the stem end that would allow water to contact the inside.
• Fresh meat, fish and poultry that has been in contact with flood waters.
• Home-canned foods, even if the jar seems tightly sealed.