Has your power gone out? What do you do with the food in your refrigerator?
Some food items may no longer be safe to eat.
"We don't want people to be burdened with not having power and to have to make a trip to the emergency room," said Eric Nickens Jr. with the DeKalb County Board of Health. "If you're in doubt, throw it out."
Here is what you can do to keep food safe:
- Once the power goes out, keep track of how long it is out.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperatures inside. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it stays closed.
- A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours or 24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.
- Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees F or below.
- Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is out for a prolonged period. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic-foot full freezer cold for two days.
Here is what you should keep and what you should throw out if you lose power:
- Never taste food to determine its safety.
- Discard any perishable food that has been above 40 degrees F for more than two hours. This includes: meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, eggs, cut fruit, condiments, biscuits, cookie dough and pasta.
- Foods that are safe include: butter, margarine, fruit juice, canned fruit, fresh whole fruits, jams, jellies, ketchup, olives, pickles, mustard, vinegar-based dressings, soy sauce, bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas, bagels, waffles, pancakes, fruit pies, raw vegetables and herbs.
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