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Tips to follow to keep food safe when the power goes out

POSTED: July 2, 2012 9:37 p.m.

Many Effingham County residents are still without power following Sunday night’s round of storms. The Effingham County Health Department wants to remind residents that while the power is out, refrigerator and freezer doors should remain closed as much as possible to keep food cold longer.


If the power is out for less than two hours, food in the refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume; however, if the power is out for longer than two hours, the following guidelines should be followed:


• For the freezer: A freezer that is half full will hold food safety for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it. If food is partially thawed and below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, continue to thaw in the refrigerator and then cook immediately.


• For the refrigerator: Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


• Never taste food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.


• Remember, if in doubt, throw it out.


For more information on food safety, go to www.foodsafety.gov.

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