With huge storms around the city, the chances of a power outage are getting higher and higher! And though more of us probably fear the fact that we will not have internet and we would not be able to charge our phones, there are more important things that we need to consider. Like how to look after our stored food. So what precautionary steps should you take to keep your food safe?
When the power goes out, remember that cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria, so keep food at safe temperatures to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
- Keep refrigerator doors closed as much as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours and a full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours if unopened.
- Use ice (dry or block, ice cubes, and frozen containers of water or gel packs) to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible.
Post Power Outage tips
When the power goes back on, be sure to check the temperatures inside your refrigerator before consuming any food.
- If the power was out for no more than 4 hours, refrigerated food should be safe as long as the doors were kept closed. But if it is longer, discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, eggs, or leftovers) that has been above 4°c for 2 hours or more.
- If the freezer thermometer reads 4°C or below, food is safe and may be refrozen. But if you don’t have a refrigerator thermometer, check each package and don’t rely on appearance or odour. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 4°C or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
- Be aware that perishable foods that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause foodborne illness if consumed, even after they are thoroughly cooked.
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