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October floods business support

Water borne diseases and food contamination

Serious gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses thrive during floods and /or power outages caused by food coming into contact with flood water and or food stored even for a short period of time at incorrect temperatures.

During a flood, flood waters often mix with the contents of septic tanks, overwhelmed stormwater drains, and residues from industrial areas. These waters will then contaminate anything they come in contact with.

Food and surface contamination

Food and surface contamination not only presents a very real hazard to business owners, staff and their customers, but exposes your business to possible legal consequences if they cause a medical injury.

Dispose of food

Don't risk it! Ensure you throw out any food that has come in contact with flood waters and or possibly affected by being stored at incorrect food temperatures for even short periods of time.

For insurance purposes, ensure you take photos of spoiled food before disposing of it responsibly. Make sure all food storage and preparation surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Contact us

If you have any queries on the correct disposal of food waste or cleaning your public facing businesses in preparation for opening, please contact Council's Environmental Health Team on 03 5734 6200 or email

This page was last updated on 19 October 2022.