Keep Food Safe During Power Outages

| March 2, 2018 | 0 Comments | Community

Submitted by Prince William County Dept. of Fire & Rescue

During extreme weather, power outages often occur resulting in the loss of electricity to households and major appliances like refrigerators and freezers.

Power outages can be inconvenient and dangerous for a number of reasons, but one of the most concerning is the safety of your foods.

It’s important to know how to keep foods from becoming unsafe to prevent you and your family from getting sick.

During a Power Outage:

Keep appliance doors CLOSED as much as possible. Opening and closing doors will release cold air and reduce safe storage times.

  • A fully stocked refrigerator will stay cold for about four hours. A freezer will keep its temperature for 24 hours if half-jul or 48 hours if full.
  • If the power has been out for four hours, and a cooler and ice are available, transfer perishable foods in the refrigerator to the cooler to maintain a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Be sure to add ice or a cold source.

After a Power Outage

  • Check the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer. If foods in both are still under 40 degrees, they are safe to keep and/or freeze. If the foods are above 40 degrees, they should be discarded.
  • Also check food that were in a cooler before putting them back into the refrigerator. Discard any that are over 40 degrees.
  • Unsure if food is still safe? “When in doubt, throw it out!”
  • Discard food that has an unusual oder, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety.

For more info visit www.pwcgov.org/Ready

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