Food Safety After Hurricane Florence

Smithfield, NC – Johnston County Emergency Services reminds you of the following food safety precautions following Hurricane Florence:

  • Always check for Notifications of Boil Water Advisory and Boil Water Notices.

  • As soon as power is restored, it is important to immediately evaluate food storage equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, and coolers. If unable to immediately evaluate the food in refrigerators, freezers, and coolers, then it cannot be determined what temperature the food may have warmed to and the food should be disposed.

  • Discard any refrigerated food that has been out of temperature (over 45*F) for >4 hours. Highly Susceptible Populations should be more cautious. When in doubt, throw it out.

  • Frozen, partially thawed food may be safe if it has not reached a temperature over 45*F. Freezers may be able to hold food for 24-48 hours without power if kept closed.

  • Discard any food, drink and single service items that have been touched by flood water.

  • Clean and sanitize all equipment, sinks, counter tops, metal and plastic pans, service items and utensils. Use a detergent solution for cleaning and a sanitizing solution of 1 cup of bleach to 4 gallons of water. Make sure all items have a 15 minute contact time with sanitizing solution.

  • Discard all ice in the ice machine, clean and sanitize the interior. Run the ice through 3 cycles and discard ice with each cycle.

  • Discard all water damaged equipment including flood damaged shelving or other components.

Evaluate the floors, walls and ceilings for water damage due to flooding or leaks. Thoroughly clean all non-damaged floors and walls. Inspect for signs of mold and remediate as needed.