Store food safely for emergencies

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No one knows for sure if this winter’s El Nino weather pattern will result in heavy snow storms in Archuleta County or not, but whether it’s snow, floods, fire or other emergencies, being prepared is always a good plan and, whatever the situation, knowledge of food safety and storage is important.

To keep food safe and avoid food-borne illnesses, we need to know what foods to store and how to handle food afterward.

Plan an emergency food supply

Experts advise keeping a three-day supply of food and water per person on hand.

Stock foods that require no refrigeration.

Store foods your family normally eats, plus favorite treats. A crisis is not the time to learn to eat new foods.

Avoid too many foods high in salt, as this will increase thirst.

Canned foods keep almost indefinitely as long as cans are undamaged. The can also will work as the cooking and serving dish. Open the can and remove the label before heating. Do not place metal cans in microwave.

Don’t forget your pets. Be sure and store enough food and water for them, as well.

Food storage

Foods recommended for storage:

• Water — one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

• Ready-to-eat canned foods — vegetables, fruit, beans, meat, fish, poultry, meat mixtures, pasta.

• Soups — canned or dried soups in a cup.

• Smoked or dried meats — commercial beef jerky.

• Dried fruits and vegetables — raisins, fruit leather.

• Juices (vegetable and fruit) — bottled, canned or powered.

• Milk — powdered, canned, evaporated.

• Staples — sugar, salt, pepper, instant potatoes and rice, coffee, tea, cocoa mix.

• Ready-to-eat cereals, instant hot cereals, crackers, hard taco shells.

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