Flood: Dishes and Utensils

 

Flood waters may carry silt, raw sewage, oil or chemical waste. Before using any dishes, pots, pans or cooking utensils that were in contact with flood water, wash and sterilize them. If in doubt, contact your local University of Maine Cooperative Extension office or the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-800-535-4555.

Discard Immediately:

  • Plastic utensils
  • Wooden spoons
  • Baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers.

General Instructions:

  • Remove plastic and wooden handles from frying pans and saucepans. Clean parts separately.
  • Wash dishes, pots, pans and utensils in hot, sudsy water.
  • Rinse in clear water.
  • Place in wire basket or other container and dip in sanitizing solution . Use a solution recommended by local health authorities or 1 1/2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water.
  • Air-dry dishes.
  • If cupboards and food preparation surfaces were in contact with flood water, clean and rinse them with a chlorine bleach solution before storing dishes and utensils.

To Control Rusting:

Iron :

  • Wash using a stiff brush and scouring powder.
  • If rust remains, wipe with an oil-saturated cloth or use a commercial rust remover.
  • Scour kitchen utensils with steel wool.
  • Season iron pans and utensils with a generous amount of unsalted cooking oil. Heat in an oven set at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours. Apply more oil as needed during the heating process. When completed, wipe off excess oil.

Locks and Hinges

  • If possible, take apart, wipe with kerosene and oil.
  • If you can't take apart, squirt a little machine oil into the bolt opening or keyhole. Work the knobs to distribute it. (Don't use too much oil. If it drips on woodwork, painting may be difficult.)

Stainless Steel, Nickel-Copper Alloy, Nickel or Chrome-Plated Metals

  • Wash thoroughly and polish with a fine-powdered cleanser.
  • If plating or hardware is broken so that metal is exposed and rusted, wipe with kerosene, then wash and dry. Wax to prevent further rusting.

Aluminum Pans and Utensils

  • Wash thoroughly with hot sudsy water.
  • Scour any unpolished surfaces (insides of pans) with steel wool pads containing soap, rubbing in one direction only.
  • Polish plated aluminum surfaces with a fine cleansing powder or silver polish. Do not scour.
  • Sterilize in a chlorine solution.

Copper and Brass

  • Polish with special polish or rub with cloth saturated with vinegar or a piece of salted lemon.
  • Always wash thoroughly after using acids or polish, or surfaces will retarnish rapidly.
  • Wash lacquered ornamental copper in warm sudsy water. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry. Do not polish or soak.

Pewter

  • Wash with hot sudsy water, using a toothbrush for crevices; rinse and dry.
  • Rub on silver polish (paste or liquid) with a soft cloth, using soft toothbrush for crevices.
  • Rinse in hot soap suds and dry.
  • Check for small holes, cracked joints, and dents. If it is a prized piece, let a professional fix it.
  • Small holes can be mended by cleaning the metal inside with steel wool, then filling with pewter epoxy mender. Follow instructions on label carefully.
  • Felt or other protection materials that have separated from the piece should be replaced. Purchase material from fabric store, cut to match the damaged piece, and glue with rubber cement.

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