July 17, 2018

Keeping Food Safe During a Blizzard

A huge winter storm is headed towards the Northeastern United States. As consumers prepare, the USDA has issued a consumer alert on keeping food safe during an emergency. The storm could leave entire communities without power for days.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza said, “major winter storms that bring heavy snow, ice, and strong winds can impact food safety. Consumers who are in the path of the winter storm headed for the Northeastern U.S. should know there is information available so they can ensure the safety of the food and water they may consume, even in the event of power outages.”

Read the steps to follow carefully. Make sure you have an appliance thermometer to check on the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. Freeze containers of water for ice to keep food cold in the freezer. And have coolers on hand if the power goes out.

After the emergency, keep fridge and freezer doors closed to maintain temperature. A fridge keeps food safe for 4 hours if unopened. A full freezer will hold safe temperatures for 48 hours (24 hours if only half full) if the door is closed. Never taste food to see if it is safe. And when in doubt, throw it out.

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