Storms prompt food safety inspections

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - From the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries:

Due to the widespread tornado damage in the early morning hours today, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has activated the Emergency Operations Center at the department headquarters in Montgomery.

Damage reports began coming in early this morning and as a result the department's food safety inspectors were deployed to those storm damaged areas. Our inspectors are on the ground accessing damage and power outages at retail food establishments to insure the safety of food products.

"We have deployed our inspectors to the hard hit areas in Alabama to assist state emergency management efforts," said Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries John McMillan.

Food safety inspectors assure that any products that have been compromised due to lack of refrigeration and /or damage are removed from the market place.

Department staff continues to work closely with the state Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and is coordinating efforts to make sure any Alabama agriculture needs are addressed.

At this time no damage reports from agribusinesses or agricultural producers have been received. As the day goes on, any significant damage reports will be shared with the media.

"The department's Emergency Operations Center will remain activated as long as necessary today in order to assure our department provides a unified response to any areas that might need our assistance," stated McMillan.