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Extension > Live Healthy, Live Well > January 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency

A blizzard or loss of power from weather-related causes could put the safety of food in your home at risk. Learn the "ABCDs" of emergency food safety to reduce possible food loss and the risk of foodborne illness.

ABCDs of Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency
  • Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40°F and frozen food at or below 0°F. When the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. This will maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if the door stays closed. A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours if the door stays closed (24 hours if it's half full).
  • Be prepared for an emergency by having items on hand that don't require refrigeration and can be eaten cold.
  • Consider what you can do ahead of time to store your food safely in an emergency. Coolers are a great help for keeping food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours. Have a couple on hand along with frozen gel packs. When your freezer is not full, keep items close together. This helps the food stay cold longer.
  • Digital, dial, or instant-read food thermometers and appliance thermometers will help you know if the food is at safe temperatures.
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