Macao is a coastal city and when it is hit by typhoons, some low-lying areas may experience flooding and even water and power outages. When food products that are not properly protected are submerged in flood water, or when frozen, chilled and fresh food products are left in the temperature danger zone (i.e. between 5°C and 60°C) for too long due to power failure of refrigerators, microorganisms can multiply and cause foodborne diseases.
The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) therefore reminds the food industry to take precautionary measures against flooding and power outages as the weather changes, so as to protect food and goods from contamination. If food products are contaminated due to power outages or flooding, they must be wrapped properly and taken to the incinerator for disposal. They must not be piled up or discarded on the street, lest they may be picked up and eaten by other people.
The Department of Food Safety of IAM has produced an illustrated “Handbook on Safety of Drinking Water and Food for Disaster Relief” and related educational videos to educate the public on how to effectively ensure water and food safety during power outages or flooding or in the event of a disaster, and how to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of foodborne diseases in the community and safeguard their health.