Food safety expert warns Kansans about floodwater contamination

September 07, 2018 - 5:28 am
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Kansas experienced some flooding this week, including evacuations in Manhattan and Pratt, and a food safety expert with K-State is warning those affected about the dangers of contaminated floodwater.

Commercially canned products that have been damaged by flooding should be thrown out, including those with large dents, leaks, swelling, punctures, fractures, or extensive deep rusting. Cans that have not been damaged should be washed and disinfected. State Extension Consumer Food Safety Specialist Londa Nwadike with K-State explains why it’s necessary to discard food that has come in contact with flood water.

"We have no idea what's in it, we have no idea where it has been," said Nwadike. "It could have all sorts of microbial contaminants, it could have heavy metals, it could have pesticide residue, it could have car battery residue... we just don't know what's the flood water.  Its better to be safe rather than sorry."  

In addition to food products, other household items you think may have come into contact with flood water may need to be discarded. 

"Any cooking utensils that are porous.  So anything like wooden utensils or plastic, or definitely baby bottles or baby nipples... anything that could go to a baby.  You just can't guarantee that you can get them clean enough so you'll just want to get rid of those."

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