The loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food, knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Mark A.R. Cooper, Director of Health for the Westport Weston Health District warned residents that although we may all practice basic safe food handling in our daily lives, obtaining and storing food safely becomes more challenging during extended power outages.of safety considerations of refrigerated foods.
As a general rule, refrigerated items should be safe if power is not out for more than four hours. A full freezer should keep foods safe for about two days. Cold foods that have exceeded 400F should be thrown away. Foods that need to be maintained hot that have fallen below a temperature of 1400F should be thrown away.
Mr. Cooper warned residents not to trust their eyes and sense of smell to determine whether foods may be safe to eat. Food may be unsafe, even if it doesn’t smell bad or even if it looks safe. When in doubt, throw it out.
For more information on food safety click on A Consumers Guide to Food Safety.