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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500025
06/24/03



Cleaning Dishes and Pans After A Flood



Before using any dishes, pots, pans or cooking utensils that were in contact with flood water, wash and sterilize them.

1. Any piece of equipment that can be taken apart should be cleaned in pieces. Remove plastic and wooden handles from frying pans and saucepans. Clean parts separately.

2. Wash dishes, pots, pans and utensils in hot, sudsy water. Use a brush, if necessary, to remove dirt.

3. After sudsing and brushing, rinse in clear water. Place dishes in a wire basket or other container and dip them in a sanitizing solution. Use a solution recommended by local health authorities or use 1 1/2 tablespoons sodium hypochlorite bleach to a gallon of water. Or immerse dishes in boiling water for at least two minutes. An alternative method is to boil dishes for a half minute.

4. Air-dry dishes. Do not dry them with a dish towel. If cupboards and food preparation surfaces were in contact with flood water, clean and sterilize them before storing dishes and utensils.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the USDA Disaster Handbook.

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