Safe Food is working with Queensland Health and local government EHOs on issues arising from the floods.
We want to alert businesses that process food that water quality is a major issue. Water sources have been contaminated in some instances by sewage and other pollutants such as herbicides, fuel and fertiliser through run off.
You must check the suitability of your water supply before you use it “in contact” with food or as a food ingredient.
Using tank or dam water is not safe unless the water is boiled or treated.
Bottled water is ok if the container is sealed before use.
There are some basic steps to take now:
- Check with your local council about town water supply, check for “boiled water alerts” for your area
- Get your water tested
- If you have your own treatment system for water such as in line filters, these will need to be checked and filters replaced as they have probably been contaminated
- Have the output from your water treatment tested for bacteria (E coli) and for solids
- Water used for cleaning surfaces is also a risk when the quality or water is in doubt
- Contaminated water can still loo ok ,Cleaning surfaces or washing utensils and your hands with contaminated water is the quickest way to spread problems and cross contaminate product
- Thorough and repeat cleaning is needed of premises, utensils, contact surfaces before you recommence production after the flood
- Personal hygiene also needs scrupulous attention
- Spread of salmonella and hepatitis is a high risk following flood events
- Washing hands frequently and sanitising hands rather than relying on wearing gloves is recommended