Food safety in emergencies
While it may not be top of mind for everyone, food safety is a very real issue in times of extreme weather events. With the numerous natural disasters that are occurring more frequently across Australia, it is also important to consider a range of measures that will ensure that you are safe and that your property is protected. Floods and fires can leave you without electricity, potentially gas for cooking and a reliable water supply. While in the short term, it may feel like only an inconvenience, very quickly, the non supply of these elements can have a substantial and sustained impact. This is because without water to clean with and the ability to heat and cook food correctly, food substances can be quickly exposed to contaminants.
Where possible, when you know that an extreme weather condition will occur, store food that does not require to be cooled or heated before consumption. Look to store a three day supply of non-perishable food. Long life milk and other items that have a long shelf life are ideal, including storage of bottled water and canned food items. Remember that it is important to discard damaged cans. Damaged cans are those with swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting that is severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
It is critical to remember that basic personal hygiene should be followed in times of emergencies. You do not need to have a completed a food handling course to make sure that you are taking basic steps to protect your health. This includes washing your hands correctly with soap before consuming any food. You should also take time to clean your hands properly after handling any material during a clean up process that might have potentially been in contact with chemicals, sewage or industrial waste. The important thing to remember is to take care of yourself, but also of others in times of emergencies.
Food safety alert