Emergency procedures- what to do?
- If power is cut for more than 4 hours, foods in refrigerators will spoil and could become dangerous to eat. Keep the refrigerator doors closed. The 2/4 hour storage rule applies here.
Perishable foods (eg. dairy products, meat, poultry, prepared foods etc) should be disposed of if un-refrigerated for more than four hours. If food has been above 5oC for longer than 4 hours then the food must be disposed of.
- Freezers will generally not defrost and spoil for at least 24 hours if the door has been kept shut. Frozen foods if thawed, should NOT be refrozen and should be kept cold and consumed within 24 hours.
- Businesses must not sell food that is unsafe or unsuitable. Ensure that discarded food cannot be collected by consumers- councils may offer special collection.
Throw out food that comes into contact with floodwater, or has an unusual odour or texture. Do not taste or cook it.
- Check canned food and discard cans that are dented, swollen or damaged.
- Tap water may be used for food preparation if the local water supply authority has indicated that supplies are safe for consumption.
- Dishes, pots and pans, and cutlery that have been covered by floodwater should be carefully inspected, washed and sanitised before they are used again.
- Discard leafy green produce from vegetable gardens that may have come into contact with floodwater.
- Have drinking-quality water, detergent, sanitiser and alcohol-based hand sanitiser for cleaning.
- After a power failure it is useful to make a note of the time the power failed.
- Keep it cold! If the power supply is out for more than 4 hours, food in fridges can spoil. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. A closed refrigerator should keep food cold for 4 hours. If food that’s meant to be in the fridge is allowed to warm for 2 hours or more, avoid eating it. Discard after the food has been above 5oC for more than 4 hours
- Freezers will usually not defrost and allow food to spoil for at least 24 hours, provided the door has been kept shut. If frozen foods have thawed, they should not be refrozen but should be kept cold and eaten as soon as possible.
- Keep it hot! Throw out food that was being cooked when the power failed if cooking cannot be completed properly within 2 hours. If food is already properly cooked, eat it within 2 hours or throw it out.
Contact your local councils or authority for further information