Power Outage Food Safety Tips

Power Outage Food Safety Tips

 

Is food left in the refrigerator safe to eat after a power outage?  Although the answer depends on how long you’ve been without power, this is an especially important question for cancer patients whose immune system has already been comprised by chemotherapy & radiation treatments.

 

Here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)

People in cancer treatment are more susceptible to infections from food.  Below are some basics food safety guidelines on when to keep and when to toss food after a power outage:

1.  When in doubt, throw it out.  

2.  Never taste food to determine its safety.

3.  Throw out perishable food.  This includes meat, poultry, seafood, soft cheeses, cooked vegetables, leftovers, dairy products like milk, yogurt, cream, etc., & deli items.  Uncut or raw fruits and veggies, most sauces, condiments, and spreads, and hard cheeses are all probably safe.  Keep in mind, the longer the outage, the more risky even those foods can be.  For more detailed listing of foods and how long they keep, check out:

Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save and When to Throw Out | FoodSafety.gov

Frozen Food and Power Outages: When to Save and When to Throw Out | FoodSafety.gov via Huffington Post

4.  Discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

5.  Throw out any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it came into contact with flood water. Containers with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps are not waterproof. Also discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers that may have come into contact with flood water.

 

(Sources:  MyFoxNY; FoodSafety.gov; Lifehacker; Caring4Cancer)

 

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