USDA reminds people to protect their food during severe weather

USDA urges food safety as tropical storm approaches

PINE BELT (WDAM) - With the threat of severe weather from Tropical Storm Barry expected to hit the Pinebelt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages people to protect their food ahead of the storm.

The USDA provides food safety tips for those in the path of the storm.

  • Drink only bottled water that has not come in contact with flood water. Discard any bottled water that may have come in contact with flood water.
  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance it may have come in contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps.
  • Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers that may have come in contact with flood water.
  • Thoroughly wash all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water with hot soapy water. Sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
  • Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved.

The USDA says people should never taste food to determine if it’s safe. When in doubt, throw it out.

For a detailed list of tips to protect your food before, during and after severe weather, follow this link to the Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety.

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