We are in the midst of Hurricane season and we have completed five years, since Hurricane Katrina caused destruction in southern part of US, especially New Orleans. Hurricane Earl has become category 4 hurricane with winds 135 mph. As we are inching towards the Labor Day long weekend, Hurricane Earl is expected to affect north eastern part of the US at the same time. The Labor Day long weekend, usually is the end of summer, which propels people to travel across the country. Hurricane Earl can disrupt plans of the tourists which are travelling to the North Eastern states.
A division of US Department of Agriculture (USDA), named Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued recommendations for residents in the American Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and on the mainland from North Carolina to Maine. Keep a track of Hurricane Earl’s path and it was recommended to keep a close eye on storm to prevent food borne illnesses, which can occur due to power disruption and other problems.
FSIS Administrator Al Almanza cautioned that “The strong winds, heavy rains and flooding that a hurricane can bring in its wake can also create food safety and public health risks.” He added Consumers can take comfort in knowing that information is readily available to help them protect their food supply as Earl charts a path for a potential landfall along the Eastern...
Seaboard in the days ahead.”
FSIS recommended basic steps to follow
- to prepare for a weather emergency
- after the weather emergency
It would be redundant to provide the details of basic steps in above mentioned categories; I would highly recommend that you read through FSIS basic guidelines.
Couple of things I would say,
- When in Doubt, Throw it Out! – If you are not sure of any food item, after you have lost electricity for a while, it is better to dispose it than taking risk of consuming it.
- Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. If bottled water is not available, tap water can be boiled for safety.
Read through Keeping food safe by FSIS link: – www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Keeping_Food_Safe_During_an_Emergency/index.asp
It is important that you follow basic guidelines to avoid food borne illness, which sounds trivial, but is very essential.