Food and Water Safety


During an emergency, food and water can become contaminated. The following tips will help you reduce the risk of contamination.

Food Safety

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with contaminated water.
  • Do not mix powdered baby formula with water that may be contaminated.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Refrigerators will keep foods cool for approximately 4 hours if unopened. A full freezer will hold its’ temperature for about 48 hours if unopened. Do not eat foods that have been in refrigerator or freezer longer than the times stated above.
  • Do not eat any food that has an unusual smell, color or texture. Never taste food to determine if it is safe. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • Cook or reheat food to an internal temperature of 165º. Cook meat to an internal temperature of 170º.

Water Safety

  • Do not use bottled water unless you are sure that it came from a safe, commercial source.
  • Do not use contaminated water for any reason.
  • Boiling water is the preferred method to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. Most disease micro-organisms in water will be killed by vigorous boiling for one minute.
  • Water can be treated with unscented household chlorine bleach, however, this method is only effective for killing bacteria. To use chlorine bleach, follow these instructions:
    1. If water is clear, add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water
    2. If the water is cloudy, add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water
    3. Mix the bleach and water thoroughly and let stand for about 30 minutes before use. If the water does not smell slightly of bleach, DO NOT use it.

Additional information on Food and Water safety can be found at:
http://www.ready.gov/food
http://www.ready.gov/water