October 16, 2018

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Snow Storms

Snow storms are affecting large parts of the country in the Great Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. The USDA is offering food safety recommendations for those affected by the weather.

Winter Storm SnowPower outages that result from weather emergencies can compromise the safety of stored food. FSIS has several videos for you to watch about this issue. And the government provides food safety information from its Twitter feed as the storms progress.

To keep your food safe in the storm, always keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer. The safe temperatures are below 40°F in the fridge, and 0°F in the freezer. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or containers before the storm. Use these to keep food in the fridge and freezer cold.

Know where you can get block or dry ice, and have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power is out more than four hours. Don’t put food in icde or snow, because it could be dirty, and animals could get at it. When the sun comes out, the ice or snow could melt quickly, compromising your food.

After the emergency, check the fridge and freezer. Check each food item separately. Throw out any food that feels warm or has been outside of refrigeration longer than two hours. You can re-freeze food that still has ice crystals. Never test food to check if it’s safe. And when in doubt, throw it out.

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