With one series of storms having passed through last week and another storm on the way, the fine folks at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health have issued tips for safe home heating and safe cooking (and storage) of food.
The tips are pretty common sense:
- Don’t use gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices to heat your home.
- Throw away food (including food containers with screw-caps, and home canned foods) that has touched flood or storm water.
- Throw away perishable food that has been at 41 degrees or warmer for more than two hours.
- Don’t use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and
prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
This is especially important to remember if the power goes out, as it has in the mountains during the recent storms.
Follow the jump to read the county’s press release.
San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) advises area residents living in areas without electrical service to be safe when cooking and heating your homes. Generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage, camper, or even outside near an open window.
When power outages occur during emergencies such as winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, or cooking can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside a living area which can poison the people and animals inside.
DEHS also advises residents to throw away food that may not be safe to eat. Throw away food that may have come in contact with flood or storm water. Also, do not eat perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers that have been above 41F for over 2 hours. Thawed foods that contain ice crystals, or are 41F or below, can be refrozen or cooked. Food containers with screw-caps, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come in contact with floodwater because they cannot be disinfected. Cans which have come in contact with flood or storm water can be disinfected by removing the label, washing the can and dipping in a solution of 1-cup bleach to 5 gallons of water. 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 on safe food handling practices, contact the San Bernardino County Public Health, Environmental Health Services division at (909) 884-4056 or visit the website at www.sbcounty.gov/dehs.