North Central Health District


North Central Health District Encourages Safe Food Donations for Evacuees


NCHD strongly encourages residents to follow proper channels of donation when providing food and comfort items to Hurricane Irma evacuees.

The Salvation Army is collecting donations at their facility at 1955 Broadway Ave. People who want to provide food to evacuees can donate grocery store or restaurant gift cards so evacuees can purchase fresh food. Donated food items will not be accepted. Residents can also donate toiletries, bed linens, pillows, cleaning products, disposable kitchen utensils (paper plates, plastic cutlery, etc.) and serving gloves.

There are also many residents across the district providing cooked meals to evacuees at Good Samaritan shelters. While we want evacuees to be fed, we also want them to be safe. NCHD urges all Good Samaritans providing cooked meals to follow proper handwashing, food preparation and food storage procedures to avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses like Salmonella and Norovirus. Following these guidelines can help create a safe environment for evacuees during their stay.

  • Wash hands frequently. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during and after preparing food.
  • Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, using the restroom, or disposing trash.
  • Avoid barehanded contact with ready-to-eat foods: fresh fruits, vegetables or precooked/prepackaged foods.
  • Separate raw meats, seafood, poultry and eggs from all other foods.
  • If you are sick, avoid helping with food preparation.
  • Use separate cutting boards and plates for raw meat, seafood and poultry.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure foods reach internal temperatures high enough to kill germs that can lead to sickness:
    • 145°F for cuts of beef, pork, lamb or veal.
    • 160°F for ground beef or pork.
    • 165°F for poultry, including ground turkey or chicken.
    • 165°F for casseroles or leftovers.
  • When serving foods, always use gloves to avoid barehanded contact.
  • While serving, hot food items should be kept at 135°F or higher and cold foods items should be kept at 41°F or less.
  • Food products not being served immediately should be kept refrigerated. All food left out at room temperature should be disposed of after 2 hours.
  • Limit food donations from outside sources – it is best to only accept prepackaged items.

For more information of food safety, visit

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