Food Safety

When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for days, or even weeks. Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least three days.

  • Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special emergency food. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have.
  • Ideal foods are shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g., canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices, and non-fat dry milk).
  • Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package.
  • Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors.
  • Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place.
  • Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits, or vegetables will normally last at least two years. Use dry products like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk, or dried fruit within six months.
  • After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within four hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for two days.

4 steps to food safety

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