What To Do With Food And Medicines That Get Wet In A Flood

source – istock

After a flood, exercise caution when handling foods and medications that have come into contact with floodwater. They might be infected with toxins or microorganisms that are pathogenic. The following information may help determine what to discard and what to keep.

What To Do With Food And Medicines That Get Wet In A Flood


All medicines — tablets, liquids, injectables, inhalers, or topical creams — that have come into contact with floodwater or contaminated water must be discarded.

If a medication is life-sustaining, you may continue using it only if the contents seem to be unaffected — for example, the tablets remain dry — and only until a replacement can be obtained. If a pill becomes wet or discoloured as a result of contact with water, it is contaminated and therefore should be discarded.

If the power was off for a lengthy period of time, it is recommended that medications that need refrigeration to be discarded. If the drug is life-sustaining, such as insulin, continue taking it just until you can replace it. The drug will lose its effectiveness beyond the expiry date specified on the label.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately after a flood to get replacement prescriptions.

source - single care

Refrigerated And Frozen Foods

If your home’s power was off, goods in the refrigerator or freezer may have gone bad. As a general rule, a refrigerator that has not been opened will keep food cold for around four hours. In a half-full, unopened freezer, food will survive around 24 hours; in a full, unopened freezer, food will last approximately 48 hours.

If the power has been off for more than four hours or you are uncertain, discard any perishable goods in the refrigerator, including dairy products, meats, seafood, and leftovers. Remove perishable frozen goods from the freezer that have thawed.

Canned And Dry Goods

Avoid eating any food that may have been exposed to flood water. This includes food packaged in plastic, paper, or cardboard containers, as well as food that has been home canned. Remove screw caps, snap lids, crimped caps, twist caps, and flip tops off food and beverage containers.

Commercially prepared food that is still in its original all-metal cans or retort pouches can be salvaged. Retort pouches are flexible, sealed plastic and foil pouches used to package items typically sold in cans, such as soups or tuna.

You’ll need to remove the can labels. After thoroughly cleaning and rinsing the containers’ exteriors, disinfect them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 4 litres of safe drinking water, or 16 millilitres bleach to 4 litres water.

After disinfecting the containers, label them with the food’s name and expiry date. Utilize these food items immediately.

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