January 18, 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. Power 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 … [Read more...]

Preparing for Emergencies During Winter Weather

Much of the U.S. is facing severe winter weather this weekend. A snowstorm in the Northeast and record-breaking cold in the Midwest could cause power outages. To keep your food safe, follow these tips. Keep an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer. In case of a power outage, you can tell if the appliance an keep food safe. Freezers should be at 0°F and refrigerators at 40°F or lower. Freeze containers or water ahead of time to use to keep the fridge and freezer cold. But don't put food out in the snow to freeze. Outside temperatures can vary too much, and animals might get to the food and eat it or contaminate it. Instead, use the cold temps to make ice. Fill buckets, empty milk containers, and cans with water and let them freeze. Use this ice to keep the fridge and … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for Severe Weather

The USDA is offering food safety tips for those affected by severe storms. Power outages from weather emergencies can cause food safety problems. The agency is also offering a video broadcast on this topic you can watch. FSIS also provides food safety information as storms progress from its Twitter feed @USDAFoodSafety. Before the storm, make sure you have appliance thermometers in your fridge and freezer. Safe temperatures are 40 degrees F or lower in the refrigerator, and 0 degrees F or lower in the freezer. Freeze water in one quart containers before the storm. This will ensure you have fresh water available, and the frozen containers can be used to help keep food in your fridge safe. Freeze leftovers and other items before the storm, since the freezer will keep food safer longer … [Read more...]

Tips for Handling Food After Power Outage

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health has issued tips for safe food handling after the recent power outages that affected more than 500,000 households over the weekend. Some consumers have had no power for four days; many will not get their power back until June 26, 2013. Food that loses refrigeration for more than four hours can be a risk for foodborne illness.  While the power is out, keep the refrigerator door closed to keep cold air inside the appliance. Discard any perishable food that has been at temperatures above 40 degrees F for more than two hours. A full freezer can keep food cold and safe for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full). Dry or block ice can be used to keep a fully stocked 18-cubic-foot freezer cold for two days. For food safety, it's … [Read more...]

Oklahoma Issues Warning About Food Safety After Storms

The state of Oklahoma is warning citizens to be careful about food safety after this week's devastating storms. Severe weather knocked out power to tens of thousands of people living in that state. There are specific steps you can take to assure the safety of your food when the power goes out. Volunteers offering food must make sure that the food is safe. Free food or food for sale to residents, responders, and relief workers should not require refrigeration and should be edible without heating. The OSDA says that "packaged, shelf-stable, ready-to-eat foods are the best option when safe refrigeration and cooking are a problem." Environmental specialists from local county health departments will be on site in the storm damaged areas to make sure food is safe. They also recommend that … [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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