Officials at the Department of Agriculture say foods most often associated with food-borne illness include: raw or cooked meat, poultry, seafood and luncheon meats; casseroles, stews or soups; milk or soft cheese; homemade mayonnaise or dressings; cooked pasta, potatoes or rice; salads made with any of these foods. For more information on food safety, see the fact sheets Food Safety After a Power Outage and Saving Foods When My Power Is Off at www.gov.ns.ca/agri/foodsafety/factsht/ or call 902-424-1173 24/7 and a food safety official will return the call. In the event of a flood, listen to the radio. Local authorities will issue instructions for those in affected areas. As always, in an emergency, call 911. Following are some general food safety tips from the Department of Agriculture: Perishable food that has reached room temperature for more than two hours must be discarded. Any food in a deep freeze that is fully stocked is good for about two days from the time of power failure. Any food in a half-filled deep freeze is safe to eat for one day from the time of power failure. Food retail outlets are advised to keep food below 4 C (40 F). Any perishable food left above this temperature for more than two hours should be discarded immediately. Nova Scotians are asked to continue to use caution today, Dec. 14, as high winds, seas and heavy rain continue to affect parts of the province, creating dangerous coastal conditions. “Please take extra care today at home and on the roads,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister for Emergency Management. “This is a powerful storm and it has interrupted some services and made conditions treacherous. It will continue to cause problems in eastern parts of the province throughout the rest of the day.” The Joint Emergency Operations Centre is operational and is assessing the provincial impact of the storm. The Emergency Management Office is active in storm preparation and response and has been tracking the storm for more than a week with Environment Canada. EMO is working closely with municipal officials and critical service providers including Nova Scotia Power. Heavy rainfall and wind warnings continue for mainland Nova Scotia east of Halifax and into Cape Breton. Gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour are expected. In Inverness County, Les Suetes winds gusting up to 140 kilometres per hour are expected today and Wednesday, Dec. 15. The Emergency Management Office strongly advises Nova Scotians to avoid exposed coastline areas where unpredictable waves and high water levels pose risks to life. Motorists are asked to use caution, especially in coastal and low-lying areas, and watch for, and avoid, roads that may be affected by downed power lines and localized flooding. Drivers should reduce speed in areas of poor visibility or where there is standing water to prevent hydro-planning. High winds are causing service disruptions and residents should prepare for additional interruptions, as well as listen to weather and media coverage for safety information. Emergency kits should include warm blankets, crank or battery powered radios and flashlights. Loose items around properties should be secured and pets should be kept indoors wherever possible. There are a number of cancellations and closures. Check businesses and transportation services such as airports and ferry crossings before travelling. Nova Scotians are also asked to be careful with open flames and other sources of heat that they may use if they are without power. The following tips help identify potential safety risks: Candle use: Using candles is not recommended, but if you must use them, make sure they are properly supported — use a non-combustible container that is larger than the candle. Keep materials at least two feet away from burning candles. Extinguish any candles before leaving the room. Portable appliances: Put the correct fuel in appliances such as Coleman stoves or oil lamps. Substituting fuels is extremely dangerous. Propane and liquid camp stoves are for outdoor use only. Space heaters create carbon monoxide. Ensure they are used in rooms with good ventilation and placed on a flat hard surface to prevent tipping. Do not leave units unattended. If using a portable, unvented kerosene heater, it is vital to open a window one inch or keep a door ajar to another room to provide safe ventilation. Extension cords: Do not attempt to run extension cords from a house that has electrical power to one that doesn’t. This can place both houses in danger of an electrical fire and is dangerous to repair crews. Generators: Generators should be operated in well ventilated locations outdoors. They should be placed so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other building openings. Generators must be certified and connected to the electrical system of a house by a construction electrician. Smoke detectors: Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms have fresh batteries and are working properly. Check appliances: Check stoves and other heating equipment to make sure that it is turned off. When electrical power is restored, a stove or other heating device can cause a fire if it is not attended.
A British Parliamentarian says there is no meaningful progress on reconciliation in Sri Lanka.Joan Ryan, Member of Parliament for Enfield North and Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils said that said that unless the culture of impunity on the island is tackled, and there is a genuine reckoning with the country’s past, Sri Lanka will be unable to lay the foundations of a sustainable peace. Joan Ryan said this in a New Year wish for the Tamils in the UK. “As you reflect upon the past twelve months and look forward to the year ahead, I know many of you will be thinking about family, friends and loved ones in Sri Lanka. I share your concern that the Sri Lankan Government has made no meaningful progress on justice and reconciliation. Unless the culture of impunity on the island is tackled, and there is a genuine reckoning with the country’s past, Sri Lanka will be unable to lay the foundations of a sustainable peace,” she said. The MP said that she will continue to support all efforts to ensure an enduring peace in Sri Lanka and the recognition of the Tamil people’s fundamental rights and freedoms. (Colombo Gazette)