Food donation safety tips

Texans team nutritionist Roberta Anding is a frequent contributor to You can send her a question by clicking on her name above.

Donating food items for our new neighbors is part of the outpouring of support by our community. However, donating nonperishable items is key to preventing food borne illnesses. Our new residents are stressed and have already been subjected to bacterial and viral illnesses because of the floodwater and unsanitary conditions in New Orleans. Food poisoning can be avoided by following the tips listed below.

Only donate non-perishable foods. Single serving items with pop-top lids are ideal. This would include Vienna sausage, individual cans of tuna or potted meat. Beef jerky and peanut are also great choices.

Dairy products that don't require refrigeration include non-refrigerated pudding cups from the dessert mix section of the store and the boxed pasteurized milk drinks.

Provide infant formula in individual ready to feed bottles.

Individual snack bags such as peanuts, trail mix, animal crackers and cheese type crackers. Avoid buying large bags to minimize the number of hands reaching in.

Donate instant hand sanitizing gels. Keep hands clean and using the gels before eating can also reduce the number of food borne illnesses.

Thank you Houston!

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