Well, Worthington, this has been quite the spring/winter storm! With the abundant power outages, food safety can be of real concern. Fortunately, with the rolling blackouts we are having, the power should be on in long enough segments to keep our food safe.
Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep food safe in a power outage:
If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.
If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:
- For the freezer section: A freezer that is half-full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
- For the refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
- Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is a list of non-perishable food items that will be safe without refrigeration:
- Canned food (make sure you have a can opener!)
- Freeze-dried food
- Pudding cups
- Protein bars
- Granola bars
- Whole fresh fruit (such as apples, bananas, oranges)
- Fruit cups
- Peanut butter and jelly
I can’t think of anything worse than getting food poisoning during a power outage; when in doubt, throw it out! If you have any further questions about food safety, please contact Greta at Hy-Vee: 507-372-7354; firstname.lastname@example.org.