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How do I remove rust on iron frying pans that formed due to being submersed in flood waters?

Rating: 85

Because these frying pans were not submerged in the potentially contaminated flood waters brought about by Hurricane Floyd, the can be salvaged. Simple remove the rust with steel wool. After the rust is removed, wash and place on the burner so that all the remaining water is evaporated. After the evaporation process is complete, coat the pan with a thin film of vegetable oil. Be sure to rub the oil into the pan so that there is not an excess to collect dust and debris. The oiling of the pan will prevent further rusting. The reason you can coat a cast iron pan with oil is that the pan will usually be used in a high temperature heat process. The temperature reached would kill any microorganisms that might have collected on the oil. The microorganisms will not grow on or in the oil. Microorganisms, specifically C. botulinum, will only grow in the presence of food. In this instance, there will be no food because the pan is clean before the oil is put on it.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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