Healthy Children - June 2019

Tips for Transporting Food

  • Keep cold food cold, at 40° F or below. To be safest, place cold food in cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Use plenty of ice or frozen get packs. Cold foods should be 40° F or below the entire time you are transporting it.
  • Hot food should be kept hot at 140° F or above. Wrap the food well and place in an insulated container.

Stay “Food Safe” When Traveling Internationally

Discuss your travel plans with your physician before traveling to other countries. Your physician may have specific recommendations for the places you are visiting, may suggest extra precautions or medications to take on your travels.

For more information about safe food and water while traveling abroad, access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov/travel

Foodborne illness: Know the symptoms

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself in a situation where you suspect you have a foodborne illness. Foodborne illness often presents itself with flu-like symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

Water

Safe drinking water

  • After an emergency, especially after flooding, drinking water may not be available or safe to drink.
  • Do not use water you suspect or have been told is unsafe to wash dishes, brush teeth, wash and prepare food, make ice, or make baby formula.
  • Alcohol dehydrates the body, which increases the need for drinking water.
  • Floods and other disasters can damage drinking water wells and lead to aquifer and well contamination. Floodwaters can contaminate well water with livestock waste, human sewage, chemicals, and other contaminants, which can lead to illness when used for drinking, bathing, and other hygiene activities.
  • If your water comes from a private well that has been flooded, consider the following guidelines for making water safe and for emergency water sources until you are certain your water is free of contaminants and safe to drink.

Make water safe

  • Water often can be made safe to drink by boiling, adding disinfectants, or filtering.

Feeding infants and young children when your tap water is unsafe

  • Breastfed infants should continue breastfeeding. For formula-fed infants, use ready-to-feed formula if possible. If using ready-to-feed formula is not possible, it is best to use bottled water to prepare powdered or concentrated formula when the tap water is unsafe. If bottled water is not available, check with the local authorities to learn the status of your drinking water to see if boiling it will make it safe to drink. Use treated water to prepare formula only if you do not have bottled or boiled water.
  • If water is contaminated with a chemical, boiling it will not remove the chemical or make it safe to consume.
  • If you prepare infant formula with boiled water, let the formula cool sufficiently before giving it to an infant. Put a couple drops of formula on the back of your hand to see if it is too hot.
  • Clean feeding bottles with bottled, boiled or treated water before each use. Throw away baby bottle nipples or pacifiers that have been in contact with flood waters; they cannot be sanitized.
  • Wash your hands before preparing formula and before feeding an infant. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer is water is limited or unsafe.

Clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces that have been flooded. Throw out wooden cutting boards, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers if they have come into contact with floodwaters because they cannot be properly sanitized. Clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces in a four-step process:

  • Wash with soap and hot, clean water.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Sanitize by immersing for 1 minute in a solution of 1 cup of unscented household chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of clean water.
  • Allow to air dry.