December 3, 2016

What to Save and What to Throw Out After a Power Outage

The USDA¬†has issued a chart of what foods are safe and what foods should be thrown out after a power outage. Severe weather in the southern part of the country has highlighted the importance of keeping food safe during a weather emergency. It would be a good idea to print out this chart and use it after a power outage. Food stored in a refrigerator during a power outage should be safe as long as the power is not out for more than 4 hours, as long as the door is kept closed as much as possible. The general categories in the USDA's chart contain recommendations that should be followed after a power outage. They state that all meats, seafood, and poultry, and foods containing those ingredients, should be discarded. Hard cheeses and processed cheeses will be safe, while soft … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Food Safety After the Hurricane

Flooding is the main concern after the hurricane in the northeast United States. USA.gov has detailed flood response and recovery information. The USDA and FDA have information for consumers about food safety and getting food to eat after a disaster. Many people are without power after Hurricane Sandy. A freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours only. After that time, the food will start to thaw and will become unsafe. If ice crystals still remain in the food, it is safe to freeze; otherwise discard it. You can also use a thermometer to see if the temperature of the food is below 40 degrees F. If it is, it's safe to consume and/or freeze. When in doubt, throw it out! Do not eat food that has come into contact with flood water. Discard any food not in a waterproof container, such as those … [Read more...]

In Hurricane Sandy’s Path? Get Ready.

Hurricane Sandy is poised to strike the Northeast United States, starting early next week. Start getting ready to protect yourself from this storm. Loss of power can jeopardize the safety of your food. Stock up on canned and shelf stable foods so you have something to eat if the power goes out or you are stranded. Make sure you have enough potable water for each member of the family: at least one gallon of water per person per day. Put thermometers in your fridge and freezer. The USDA has compiled a sheet to help you stay food safe in the storm. Print out their fact sheet "A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes" and keep it in a safe place so you can refer to it as needed. If you do lose power, keep the fridge closed; it will keep food at safe temperatures … [Read more...]

In Isaac’s Path? Get Ready!

The USDA is offering food safety tips for consumers in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm will most likely be upgraded to a hurricane before it hits the Florida Keys and Tampa Bay area. Power outages and flooding can compromise the safety of stored food. And consumers should plan ahead to have food and water on hand that is safe to eat. USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen said, "storing perishable food at proper temperatures is crucial to food safety but can become difficult if you lose electricity for your refrigerator and freezer. For those living in Tropical Storm Isaac's projected path, we recommend stocking up on canned food [Ed. note: make sure you have a can opener!], bottled water, batteries, and dry ice." The government has compiled a fact sheet … [Read more...]

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