power outages

Food Safety During “Power Failure”

Posted Saturday September 22, 2018

Posted By: Christine Taylor

Category: General

Handling and preparing food is always important in preventing Foodborne illness, but a power failure can result in food becoming spoiled due to a lack of refrigeration. Follow these safe food-handling tips during a power failure to reduce the risk of Foodborne illness:
Frozen Food:
  • Freezing stops the growth of bacteria. A full upright or chest freezer will keep food frozen for up to 2 days during a power failure. A half-full freezer will keep the food frozen for about one day if the freezer is kept closed
  • If you know the power will be back on soon, keep the freezer door closed as much as possible to help the food last longer, and put ice in the freezer to help keep it cold
  • If you know that a power failure will last for a long period of time, transport the food to a friend’s or family member’s freezer if possible. If it is wintertime, you can store outside
  • Discard any thawed food that has remained at room temperature for 2 or more hours. When in doubt throw it out
  • Discard any food that has an obvious strange colour or odour
  • If raw food has leaked during thawing, clean and disinfect the areas the food has touched. Do not reuse washcloths until they have been cleaned and disinfected
  • Food that still contains ice crystals or feels refrigerator-cold can be re-frozen. 
Refrigerated food:
  • During a power failure the refrigerator will keep food cool for 4 to 6 hours, depending on the kitchen temperature and the original temperature of the refrigerator
  • Place securely wrapped packages of raw meat, poultry or fish in the coldest section of your refrigerator
  • Put ice in the refrigerator to help keep it cool
  • An icebox or cooler filled with ice will keep perishable foods temporarily chilled
 Dry goods:
  • Do not store dry goods on the floor because insects and rodents may get inside
  • Dry items such, as cookies, potato chips, etc. do not need to be kept cool

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