Food Safety Following Florence

Food Safety Education Month is more hands-on this year for those affected by Hurricane Florence as the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommended consumers take specific precautions to reduce food waste and risk of foodborne illness during the severe weather events. The possibility of power outages and flood water contamination presents an additional challenge for consumers to plan for and eliminate.

This Mississippi State University Extension agent gave a seminar on Tuesday, September 18, regarding tips for food preparedness before and after a storm. With hurricane season at its most active, she taught attendees how to prepare for a natural disaster. Things that are easily forgotten or highly underestimated include water, flashlight batteries, important family documents, and prescriptions. 
Ben Chapman, North Carolina State Extension Food Safety Specialist, shared tips on how to help families prepare for power outages by safely preserving and preparing common household food items when the power goes out. But, as the lights come back on after Hurricane Florence, more and more businesses are able to open their doors. With prolonged power outages, however, comes the risk of foodborne illness, and restaurant owners had to be mindful of food temperature and storage.
For additional information on environmental health services and food safety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has helpful resources highlighting research, training, and reporting. And this news station provides insurance recommendations for food loss and a simple trick for testing the safety of your frozen food. 
By: Kylie Peterson

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