Be Prepared If You Lose Electrical Power In The Home
If energy shortages or severe weather shut off your electric power try to keep a cool head--but don’t peek in your refrigerator. Prevent food spoilage by keeping the freezer or refrigerator closed.
Foods can stay cold and safe for two days in a fully packed and closed freezer and safe for one day in a half-full freezer. Don’t open the freezer until power is restored. If food items have ice crystals throughout and feel cold to the touch, they can be refrozen. But if in doubt, throw it out. Illness-causing food bacteria can grow quickly and can’t always be detected by taste or smell.
When the power comes back on, put a thermometer inside the refrigerator. If it reads higher than 41 degrees F, discard all perishable foods, such as: raw or cooked meat or seafood; milk and dairy products; cooked pasta and pasta salads; fresh eggs and egg substitutes; meat-topped pizza and lunch meats; casseroles and soups; mayonnaise and tartar sauce; and cream-filled pastries. Other items such as butter, ketchup, jelly, hard cheeses, and bread and rolls are usually safe if power is restored within two days.
Don’t risk your health with unsafe food. For answers to specific questions, call the Winnebago County Health Department at 920-232-3000.