Food Safety: food sorting

It’s important to make sure the food we distribute to our neighbors in need is safe and in good condition. Here’s what to look for when sorting through donated food.
Discard food products if:
• The seal is pierced
• There is visual evidence of product contamination
• A glass jar is dented on the lid
• A jar has a raised center that may not spring back after being depressed • A can has a crease that is folded onto itself
• A can has a dent deeper than a thumb nail or with sharp corners
• A can has a dent so deep it deforms the end of the can causing it to wobble
• A can has rust remaining after wiping
• A can has a crease or dent over the seam
• A can is swollen To review a more detail version of the Sorting Guidelines, visit the Food Safety link on the Agency Portal.
Keep these food products if:
• If the seal is slightly damaged but shows no evidence of tampering
• Cans with a flat dent on a seam no more than 1/4 inch (unless the dent is tipped inward)
• Pull-top can lids with dents can only be kept if the contents are dried foods with no leakage
• If the band is broken and the pop-up seal is intact
• Produce with some spots, soft areas or bruises are generally safe to use

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