September 22, 2020

Keeping Food Safe During Severe Storms and Hurricanes

Hurricane season is here, and while the summer severe weather season is slowing down in the rest of the country, power outages and severe storms are common in the fall and winter. The USDA offers the Consumer's Guide to Food Safety during severe storms and hurricanes. The key to keeping food safe at any time of the year and during any severe weather event is preparation. Keep up to date on watches and warnings and start getting ready as far in advance as you can. First, keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer. The freezer should be set at 0°F, and the fridge should be set at 34 to 39°F. Freezers work best when they are at least half full. Group foods together in the freezer to help the food stay cold longer. It's a good idea to freeze container of water both … [Read more...]

Prepare For Food Safety During Power Outages WIth Tips From the FDA

As the U.S. enters the hurricane and tornado season, the FDA is offering tips for helping consumers prepare for food safety during power outages. Food can spoil if the power is out for hours, but you can save money and protect yourself by following these steps. First, make sure that you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. That's the best way to tell if the temperature in those appliances is cold enough to keep food safe from bacterial growth. The freezer should always be at 0°F or below, and the refrigerator should always be at or below 40°F. Then, think about freezing containers of water to help keep foods cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers when the power goes out. The melting ice will also provide drinking water if you use water from the … [Read more...]

USDA Offers Advice for Those Affected by Winter Storm

Winter storm Stella is hitting the northeastern United States. The USDA has food safety tips to keep in mind when you are preparing for a severe weather emergency. Many people think that storing food outside when it's cold is safe, but it isn't. Outdoor temperatures can vary, and food can be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals. Instead, make ice by filling buckets and cans with water. Leave them outside to freeze, then use this ice to keep food cold in coolers or your refrigerator or freezer. If the power goes out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible A refrigerator will keep food cold at safe temperatures (below 40°F) for four hours. And a full freezer will keep temperature below 0°F for 48 hours; 24 hours if it is half-full. Put meat and … [Read more...]

Food Safety After a Flood

Wondering about food safety after a flood? Here is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recommends: If you have advance notice of heavy rains that may produce floodwaters, buy jugs of water and shelf-stable foods that can feed your family for a few days and store them in an area flood waters are not likely to reach. Keep a jug of liquid bleach and a cooler in the same area. Find out where you can purchase dry ice. Buy appliance thermometers for your freezer and fridge. In the freezer, gather food together this will help it stay cold longer.  If you lose power, a refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if you keep the door closed. A full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for about 48 hours,  a half-full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature … [Read more...]

5 Things to do Before Severe Weather Strikes

When severe weather strikes and the power goes out, it can be confusing to figure out what food is safe to eat. Here are five things to do before the storm that will take some of the guesswork out of severe weather food safety, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Make sure you have working appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. Safe temperatures for the fridge are 40°F or lower, in the freezer 0°F or lower. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or other small containers prior to a storm. Tuck them in between frozen foods to help keep them cold. Freeze any food you don’t plan to eat in the immediate future such as leftovers, milk, fresh  or poultry. This will help to keep them at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. Group … [Read more...]

Keep Your Food Safe During the Storm

A huge winter storm is approaching the Northeast United States, and may cause flooding and power outages. The FDA is offering advice to prepare for this storm and keep your food safe. Before the storm, make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. The refrigerator should be set to 40°F or lower, and the freezer should be at 0°F or lower. The thermometers will help you determine if the food is safe if there is a power outage. Frozen items in a closed, well filled freezer can stay safe up to 48 hours. If the power is out for more than four hours, refrigerated food should be transferred to coolers with ice cubes or frozen gel packs. Purchase or make ice cubes in advance and freeze gel packs ahead of time. Store these items in the freezer. Make sure you … [Read more...]

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips to Those Affected by Severe Weather

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for the Northeast, Central Appalachians and Ohio Valley because of severe thunderstorms. These storms may cause power outages that could compromise the safety of food in consumers' homes. If the power goes out, keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator and 0°F or lower in the freezer. Freeze water in 1-quart containers before the storm to help keep food cold. They can be put around the food in both appliances to keep food cold. Freeze leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry before the storm to keep them at a safe temperature longer. Know where you can get block or dry ice to help keep food cold. Fifty pounds of dry … [Read more...]

USDA Food Safety Tips for Winter Weather Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)  has compiled some food safety tips for those affected by severe winter weather in the northern Rockies and upper Great Lakes. Heavy snowfalls in Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan could cause power outages posing which create food safety risks. FSIS recommends consumers follow these steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during severe weather events. Print this information and put it on your pantry door for future reference. Before the storm, purchase appliance thermometers for the refrigerator and the freezer, freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. Group foods together in the … [Read more...]

USDA Food Safety Tips for Hawaiians in the Path of Tropical Storms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has compiled some food safety recommendations for those in Hawaii experiencing severe weather related to Tropical Storms Iselle and Julio. The storms are expected to reach the Hawaiian Islands on Thursday into Friday. Here's what the agency recommends. If you don't have an appliance thermometer for your fridge and freezer go buy them. Locate your coolers, clean them out. If you don't have one and have perishable food you want to save, buy one. Buy some ice and store it in the cooler. Buy a few days worth supply of fresh water and food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked. Group meat and poultry  one side of the freezer preferably on a tray to prevent cross contamination from thawing thawing … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for Hurricane Arthur Victims

The USDA is offering food safety recommendations for those affected by Hurricane Arthur. If you lose power, food could spoil and pathogenic bacteria can grow. Keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer. Safe temperatures are 40°F in the refrigerator and 0°F in the freezer. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or containers before a storm. Water expands when it freezes, so don't overfill. Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer. Know where you can get block or dry ice. Fifty pounds of dry ice will keep an 18-cubic-food freezer cold for two days. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power is out for more than four hours. Group foods together in the freezer for an … [Read more...]

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