News Releases > Residents reminded of food safety issues during power outages
ALLEN COUNTY, Ind (Dec. 21, 2008) – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is issuing the following recommendations to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to the widespread power outages in the region:
While the power is out…
§ Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. Each time the door is opened, a significant amount of refrigeration is lost.
§ The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.)
§ Add bags of ice to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended time.
§ Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer.
Once the power is restored…
§ Check the temperature in the freezer and refrigerator. If a thermometer was not kept in the appliance, check each package of food to determine its safety.
§ If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40° F or below, then the food can be safely refrozen.
§ Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (F) for 2 hours or more.
§ Discard food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture. Never taste food to determine its safety. When in doubt, throw it out.
§ Keep in mind that perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.
For more information on food safety during power outages, visit www.allencountyhealth.com.