Weather - KOAA

Jan 31, 2011 3:29 PM by Bea Karnes

Keeping food safe when you lose power

With a severe winter storm comes the threat of losing power.

The USDA has safety tips to follow to ensure food in your freezer and refrigerator is safe to eat following an outage:

• Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer in
case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.
• Make sure the freezer is at 0° F or below and the refrigerator is at 40° F or below.
• Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers after the power is out.
• Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately - this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
• Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
• Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
• Group food together in the freezer - this helps the food stay cold longer.
• Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.

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