After a flood, you may be reluctant to throw out all of the food in your fridge. In some cases, this is unnecessary, especially if you have experienced a relatively mild flood. However, there are several things to keep in mind.
Be Careful What You Eat
Do not eat anything that has come in contact with flood water. If you have any reason to believe that food has come in contact with flood water, throw it out. Even if the food was in a container, you should not eat it. This is especially true for food that was stored in a plastic, paper, cardboard, or cloth container. If you find any food containers that do not fall into one of these categories, make sure to inspect it for damage before you consider using the food.
Be Careful What You Drink
Do not use any water that you suspect is contaminated to wash dishes, brush your teeth, cook, drink or make baby formula. Contact your local health department to receive advice on how to treat water in your area. In most cases, you'll need to boil water for it to be safe. The health department will determine whether the tap water is potable. If it is determined that the tap water is not potable, make sure to use bottled water. Do not use bottled water that has been exposed to flood water, since the caps are often not effective enough at keeping water out of the bottles.
Disinfect Your Kitchen
All of your cooking surfaces will need to be disinfected since they might be contaminated by the waste. Make sure to wear protective clothing as you are sanitizing the area. Discard any wooden cutting boards or wooden utensils, since they will likely be contaminated and can't be salvaged. Any countertops need to be thoroughly washed with soap and water. Apply chlorine bleach to a gallon of water and use this to sanitize your countertops. Make sure to clean all of the cracks and crevices.
Discard Your Refrigerator
If there was any food in the refrigerator, and your power went out during the flooding, throw away any food in the refrigerator if the power was out for longer than four hours. If the refrigerator was submerged in water, you should discard not only the food, but the entire appliance. The refrigerator will likely not be safe to use and the food will probably be ruined.
For more assistance with flood cleanup, contact a company like Dependable Carpet Care.