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Food Safety During Stormy Sandy

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  October 28, 2012 08:04 PM

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Sandy is coming and let's hope she doesn't take the power with her when she blows through your town.

Consider this advice by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 

Before the Power Goes Out:

  • Make sure that your refrigerator is set at 40 degrees F or below. Above this temperature, pathogens, which cause foodborne illness, grow more rapidly.
  • Make sure that your milk and eggs are stored in the back of your refrigerator, rather than on the door, to keep them colder longer. The temperature of the refrigerator door is typically higher due to its constant opening and closing.

Should the Power Goes Out:
  • Avoiding opening the refrigerator and freezer unnecessarily. The longer the doors are closed, the longer the food will remain at a cold temperature.
  • If your power is restored within four hours, the items in the refrigerator should be safe to eat if you don't constantly open it.
  • A freezer that is stuffed full will stay at freezing temperatures for two days if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for one day if the door remains closed.

Once the Power is Restored:
  • When your power is restored, check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. If it is reads 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the  food is safe and can be refrozen. f
  • Wait until the temperature of the refrigerator drops to 40 degrees F or below before you restock it.

Lastly, when in doubt, throw it out.

                                              Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake 

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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