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Food Safety in a Disaster . Adapted by: Jason M. Behrends, Ph.D., CCS Mississippi State University. Course Work. Module I Facts About Food and Floods Module II Preparing Food During a Power Failure Module III Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Flood. Module I.

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food safety in a disaster

Food Safety in a Disaster

Adapted by: Jason M. Behrends, Ph.D., CCS

Mississippi State University

course work
Course Work
  • Module I
    • Facts About Food and Floods
  • Module II
    • Preparing Food During a Power Failure
  • Module III
    • Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Flood
module i
Module I
  • Is Food Safe to Eat?
    • Contact with flood water
    • Contact with water from broken pipes
  • Module 1
    • Identifies safe food
module i4
Module I
  • Undamaged canned foods may be saved
  • Cleaning methods
    • Label with permanent ink
    • Remove paper labels
    • Wash and scrub
    • Soak in bleach
    • Air dry
  • Dispose can if contacted with waste
    • When in doubt, THROW IT OUT!
module i5
Module I
  • Pantry/Fresh foods should be disposed if contacted by flood water.
  • Flood water may carry sewage, oil, or other wastes.
  • If left out, cold foods should be trashed.
module i6
Module I
  • Water for Drinking, Cooking, or Cleaning
    • Consider all water unsafe!
    • Public Announcements
    • Boil Water to prevent contamination by:
      • Viruses
      • Bacteria
      • Parasites
    • Contact local health department
module i7
Module I
  • Discard these products
    • Fresh produce
    • Jarred foods
    • Containers with:
      • Cork
      • Wax
      • Pap tops
      • Peel off tops
      • Wax seals
    • Cardboard boxes
    • Canned foods if:
      • Dented
      • Rusted
      • Leaking
      • Bulging
      • Home-canned
    • Spices/seasonings
    • Open containers
    • Dry goods and stables
module i8
Module I
  • Consumer Tips
    • Cold foods <40F
    • Hot foods >140F
    • Perishable foods out < 2hrs.
    • Keep it clean
module i9
Module I
  • Power outage
    • 2-3 hrs. in refrigerator
    • Freezer
      • Full freezer – 2 days
      • Half-full – 1 day
      • Safe to refreeze with ice crystals
module i10
Module I
  • Power Outage
    • Don’t rely on appearance
    • Bacteria multiplies after 2 hrs. at room temp.

Discard these after two hours above 40F

    • Raw meat
    • Milk/cream, yogurt, soft cheese
    • Cooked pasta
    • Eggs
    • Meat pizza/lunch meat
    • Casseroles
    • Soups
    • Mayonnaise
    • Cookie dough
    • Cream-filled pastries
module i11
Module I
  • Foods generally safe above 40F after a few days
    • Butter/margarine
    • Fresh fruits/vegetables
    • Dried fruits
    • Jelly, sauces
    • Hard cheeses
  • Discard due to signs of mold or odor
  • Higher temps. = Faster spoilage rate
module i12
Module I
  • Clean the kitchen
    • Scrub and sanitize
      • Chlorine solution
    • Sanitize dishes and glassware
      • Boil metal utensils
    • Discard wooden and plastic utensils
      • Including baby bottle nipples and pacifiers
      • These absorb and hide bacteria
    • Wash linens in hot water
      • Use chlorine bleach
module ii
Module II
  • During Power Failure
    • Change cooking and eating habits
      • No heat
      • No refrigeration
      • Limited water
    • Health risks from contaminated or spoiled food may increase
module ii14
Module II
  • When preparing food during a power outage, follow these guidelines:
    • Save Fuel
    • Conserve Water
    • Observe Health Precautions
    • Freezer and Refrigerator Food Safety
module ii15
Module II
  • Save Fuel
    • Cook time
      • Choose foods that cook quickly
      • Use no-cook (ready to eat) meals
    • Alternative cooking options
      • Fireplace
      • Hot plates
      • Candle warmers
      • Camp stoves
module ii16
Module II
  • Frozen foods
    • Do not cook unless enough heat is available
    • Require more heat than canned goods
    • Leave in freezer if power is off
  • Canned foods
    • Commercially canned foods can be eaten from the can
    • Do not use home canned without boiling for ten minutes
module ii17
Module II
  • Conserve Water
    • Save liquids from canned vegetables.
      • Use these liquids fro water in cooked dishes.
    • Drain and save juices from canned fruits.
      • Use the juices for water in salads and drinks.
module ii18
Module II
  • Observe Health Precautions
    • Boil water used for cooking for 10 min.
    • Without refrigeration:
      • Open only enough for one meal
      • Some can be kept shortly without refrigeration
      • Packaged survival foods are safe
      • Do not serve foods that spoil easily
        • Ex:
          • Meats
          • Hash
          • Custards
          • Meat pies
module ii19
Module II
  • Do not use fresh milk
    • Canned milk keeps safe for hours
    • For baby’s milk pen a fresh can for each bottle
    • Use only disinfected water to mix powdered milk
    • W/o safe water, use canned or bottles juices
module ii20
Module II
  • Food Preparation
    • Eat foods in their original containers
    • This eliminates sanitation and dishwashing issues
module ii21
Module II
  • Food Safety of Frozen Foods
    • Anticipating power failure or flood
      • Set refrigerator and freezer to coldest
    • If water enters freezer
      • Dispose of all foods not sealed airtight
module ii22
Module II
  • Keep Freezer Closed!
    • Food may last 2-3 days
    • Well insulated 4 cu.ft.freezer food will not spoil in <3 days
    • 12-36 cu. Ft. freezer food will not spoil in <5 days or longer
    • Open freezer only to move food or add dry ice.
module ii23
Module II
  • Thawing Rate
    • When closed most freezers will stay below 40F for 3 days
    • Thawing rate depends on:
      • Amount in freezer
      • Type of food
      • Temperature of food
      • Insulation of the freezer
      • Size of freezer
  • Do not put hot foods in freezer
    • Cover and dispose of in 2 hrs.
module ii24
Module II
  • Emergency measures
    • KEEP DOOR CLOSED
    • Move food to locker plant if possible
      • Check with plant
      • Wrap and store in cooler
      • Rush food to plant
      • Make preparations with plant in advance of an emergency
module ii25
Module II
  • If locker plant is not available
    • Leave in freezer and cover freezer
    • Do not cover air vents
    • Use dry ice
    • Can the food
module ii26
Module II
  • When food has thawed
    • Food quality is diminished
    • Red meats are affected less
    • Food may be refrozen if ice crystals are present
    • If temp. > 40F, throw away
module ii27
Module II
  • Treating thawed foods:
    • Fruits
      • Refreeze if still good
      • Fruit starting to ferment is safe
    • Frozen dinners
      • Do not refreeze if thawed
module ii28
Module II
  • Vegetables
    • Do not refreeze if thawed
    • Bacteria multiply rapidly
    • Spoilage begins before odor is present
    • Refreeze only if ice crystals are present in package
    • When in doubt, THROW IT OUT!
module ii29
Module II
  • Meat and Poultry
    • Unsafe when they start to spoil
    • Discard if odor is present
    • Discard above 40F
    • Discard stuffed poultry
    • Immediately cooked unspoiled meat or poultry
    • Cooked meat can be refrozen
module ii30
Module II
  • Fish and Shellfish
    • Extremely perishable
    • Do not refreeze unless ice crystals are present throughout
module ii31
Module II
  • Dry Ice in a Power Failure
    • Helps prevent spoiling
    • More dry ice = longer the food stays frozen
    • Expensive/ hard to find
    • Locate a source before a disaster
    • Can be located from:
      • Dairy
      • Cold storage warehouse
      • Power company can locate a source
module ii32
Module II
  • Dry Ice Usage
    • Handling and usage guidelines:
      • Wear gloves
      • 2-3 lbs./cu.ft.
      • Move products from freezing compartment to storage area.
      • Put board or cardboard on top of food
      • Put dry ice on top of boards
module ii33
Module II
  • Dry Ice Usage
    • Cover Freezer
    • Do not block air vents
    • Open windows or doors to let gas escape
module ii34
Module II
  • Safety of Refrigerated Food After a Power Failure
    • Meats, poultry, and seafood should be left out no longer than 2 hrs.
    • If leaving home without ice
      • Take cold salad ingredients
      • Eat upon arrive
      • Throw leftovers away
module ii35
Module II
  • Safety of Refrigerated Food After a Power Failure
    • Cook all unspoiled meat immediately and keep above 140F
    • Large pieces will not spoil as easily
    • Sausage is easily contaminated
    • Raw chopped meats spoil quickly
      • Dispose after 12 hours with no power
      • Do not trust your sense of smell
module ii36
Module II
  • Safety of Refrigerated Food After a Power Failure
    • Milk spoils quickly
      • Throw it out
      • Use for baking
    • Creamed foods and chopped meats spoil quickly and can easily cause foodborne illness.
    • Any product high in protein and moisture should not be transported without ice
module iii
Module III
  • Food Preparation Safety After a Flood
    • Contaminated foods
    • Food to discard
    • Other packaged foods
    • Foods to keep
    • Disinfecting cans and glass jars
    • How much bleach to use for purifying water
    • Flooded garden produce
    • Immature produce
    • Mature produce
    • Produce disinfecting measures
module iii38
Module III
  • Flood-Contaminated Foods
    • Floodwaters carry:
      • Silt
      • Raw sewage
      • Oil
      • Chemical wastes
      • Bacteria
    • Thoroughly examine all food
      • When in doubt, throw it out!
module iii39
Module III
  • Food to Discard
    • Opened containers
    • Unopened jars with waxy seals
    • Seasonings/spices
    • Flour, grains, and sugars
    • Paper box products
    • Dented cans
module iii40
Module III
  • Food to Discard
    • Do not try to save any of these foods:
      • Jams sealed with paraffin
      • Containers with non-sealed lids
      • Bottled beverages
      • Foil packages
      • Fresh fruits and vegetables
      • Home canned foods
module iii41
Module III
  • Other Packaged Foods
    • Metal drums/wooden barrels
      • Examine for leaks
      • Destroy containers
    • Examine foil or cellophane containers
      • Discard if :
        • Caked inside
        • Stained
        • Any evidence of water contamination
module iii42
Module III
  • Food to Keep
    • Safe food:
      • Undamaged tin cans

Boil cans for extra safety

      • Potatoes
        • Wash and sanitize
        • Dry and peel before cooking
      • Citrus Fruits
        • Wash and sanitize
        • Peel and heat to 160F for 10 min.
      • Apples and fruits that can be sanitized and sealed
module iii43
Module III
  • Disinfecting Cans and Commercial Glass Jars
    • Must be sanitized and washed
    • Inspect and destroy if damaged
    • Remove labels and all silt
    • Soak 15 min. in cold chlorine solution
    • Remove and rinse
    • Store to avoid further contamination
module iii44
Module III
  • Other ways to disinfect cans and jars
    • Immerse in sterilizing solution and rinse
    • Boil for 10 min., dry and relabel

NOTE: Chlorine and other sterilizing solutions are poisonous. Use extreme caution.

module iii45
Module III
  • Flooded Garden Produce
    • Some produce will be unsafe to eat
    • Safety depends on
      • Kind of produce
      • Maturity of produce
      • Time of year
      • Flooding severity
      • Flood duration
      • Water bacterial content
      • Probability of other contamination
module iii46
Module III
  • Immature Produce
    • More than two weeks immature at the flooding time should be safe by ripening time
    • Disinfect and cook for additional safety before eating
module iii47
Module III
  • Mature Produce
    • Avoid using if possibly contaminated unless:
      • They can be disinfected
      • Peeled
      • Thoroughly cooked
module iii48
Module III
  • Some fruits and vegetable are more susceptible than others to bacterial contamination.
    • Leafy vegetables are highly susceptible to bacterial contamination
    • Do not pick contaminated strawberries
    • Root, bulb, and tuber crops are less likely to be contaminated
      • Disinfect , peel and cook before eating
module iii49
Module III
  • Thoroughly wash, disinfect, and cook any produce before eating.
    • Wash in strong detergent solution
    • Soak 15-20 min. in chlorine solution
    • Rinse thoroughly
    • Peel and cook
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