Does your Emergency Preparedness Kit contain recalled or expired items?

Friday, 13 March 2009

Courtesy of Citizen Corps

Currently the United States is in the midst of one of the largest food recalls in American history. As Americans dig through their cabinets and refrigerators to remove potentially contaminated food associated with the recent peanut recall, we would like to also remind citizens to open and check their Emergency Preparedness Kits to remove any potentially harmful items from these also.

Because peanut products are often recommended as staples in Emergency Preparedness Kits due to their long shell life and because they are a good source of protein, we encourage all kit owners to look at their kits to ensure food products are not on the peanut recall list. Please keep in mind that the peanut product recall extends beyond peanut-flavored products. The following are some examples of foods also included in the recall that may contain peanuts:

  • Granola

  • Snack bars

  • Crackers

  • Cereal

  • Trail Mix

  • Cookies

  • Noodles

  • Dog treats

A full list of recalled peanut products and what individuals should do with recalled items can be found on the Food and Drug Administration’s web site, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm.

In addition to checking for peanut-related items, please be sure to check for other items in your kit that may have expired, including medications, food and pet food, water, and other recalled items. The U.S. government provides information on unsafe, hazardous, or defective products ranging from consumer products, food, medicine, and cosmetics at www.recalls.gov.

Ensuring family and neighbors are prepared is an essential step in helping communities during and after an emergency. Families should have an Emergency Preparedness Kit in all locations that are frequented often, including homes, offices, schools, cars and day care facilities. These kits should hold a variety of essential items that are needed during a disaster, such as a flashlight, radio, cash, clothing, protective equipment, medicines, and of course food and water. For a complete list of Emergency Preparedness Kit recommended items, please visit http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/supplykit.shtm.

Citizen Corps Councils and Partners: Councils and partners should consider reminding their communities about the importance of maintaining and constructing an Emergency Preparedness Kit and consider hosting public preparedness training sessions to ensure that information about kits is reaching the community. In addition, Councils and partners should consider adding a link to the FDA Web sites along with information on the recall on peanut products to any web pages or documents that refer to community preparedness or Emergency Preparedness Kit preparation.

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