Food Safety Alert

The Winnebago County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division would like to remind residents about proper food handling and disposal when cleaning up their homes after the storm which occurred on Monday, September 4, 2006.

Food - (Information from CDC)
Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat.
• Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water.
• Throw away food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
• Throw away perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (F) for 2 hours or more.
• Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40 degree F or below can be refrozen or cooked.
• Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened, or damaged.
• Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected.
• If cans have come in contact with floodwater or storm water, remove the labels, wash the cans, and dip them in a solution of 1 cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water. Relabel the cans with a marker.
• Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.

For more information flood clean up, log on to the Winnebago County health Department’s web site at, or call the Community Health Information Line at (815) 720-4242. The information line is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.