Government issues warnings about food safety in wake of storm - Jul. 08, 2014
New Brunswickers affected by power outages and flooding following tropical storm Arthur are urged to think about food safety.
"New Brunswickers need to be careful about consuming frozen or refrigerated foods if their home has been without electrical power for any extended period," said Dr. Na-Koshie Lamptey, regional medical officer of health.
If you have no power, do not open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. If the door remains closed, a full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours without electricity. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present. All perishable food in a refrigerator without electricity for more than 24 hours should be discarded.
If you have food that has come into contact with flood waters, be sure to follow these food safety precautions:
• All perishable goods affected by flooding should be thrown out.
• Commercially-canned food properly identified by labels in containers which show no leaks, swelling or rusting at joints or edges should be thoroughly washed and dried.
• Vacuum-packed foods pose a special hazard since dried waste material can collect inside crevices and covers. They should be discarded.
• Home preserves, meats, fish or dairy products should be discarded as unsafe if they have been affected by flood water.
• When in doubt, throw it out.
Never use flooded appliances unless you contact a qualified service technician before the appliance is put back into service. Appliances that have been affected by flood water should be cleaned as follows:
• Ensure electrical power is turned off.
• Clean the unit thoroughly with a detergent solution, rinse with clean water, then wash with a solution containing one-half cup of household bleach or similar product in nine liters (two gallons) of water.
• Allow to dry with door kept open.