Use extreme caution when trying to save food after a fire. Food and utensils damaged by heat, smoke, chemicals or water may not be safe to use. Food in cans or jars may appear to be okay. But if it has been close to the heat of the fire, it may no longer be edible. Heat from the fire can activate food spoilage bacteria or cause undesirable flavor changes.
Toxic fumes can contaminate food items as well. Items stored in permeable packaging should be thrown away. If you detect an off-flavor or smell in refrigerated foods, dispose of them as well. Your family's health is not worth the risk.WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
Be thorough in inspecting kitchen items for water, smoke, chemical and heat damage. When in doubt, throw it out.
Throw out any of these items if they have come in contact with waters or chemicals used in fire fighting:
Fresh produce, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
b) Opened containers and packages.
c) Containers with peel-off tops, or cork-lined, waxed cardboard or paraffin (waxed) seals.
d) All food in cardboard boxes, paper, foil, plastic, cellophane or cloth.
e) Spices, seasonings and extracts, flour, sugar and other staples in canisters.
Refrigerator and freezer seals may not be air-tight. If food has an off-smell or flavor when it is prepared, throw it out. If the electricity is out to the refrigerator or freezer, follow these guidelines:
Your county family living agent, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
UW-Extension Publications- "When the Home Freezer Stops," (B2837);
"Quick Consumer Guide to Safe Food Handling," (BG248);
"Keeping Food Safe," (B3474).
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