Food safety in the midst of power outages

By WEEK Producer

Food safety in the midst of power outages

October 29, 2012 Updated Oct 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Power outages are said to be a major problem once Hurricane Sandy hits, and if you have friends or relatives on the east coast, you might want to remind them about food safety.

Food safety experts say the clock starts ticking inside your refrigerator and freezer as soon as the power goes out.

Try to keep the fridge door closed to contain the cool air as much as possible.  The USDA says a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is left shut.

A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours if unopened.

Items that should hold up include processed and hard cheeses, butter, whole fruits and whole vegetables, fruit juice and condiments like ketchup and mustard.

The items you should throw out if they get too warm include meats, soft cheeses, eggs, bacon, vegetable juice, produce that's been cut up, and any leftovers.

For more information, you can visit www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/keeping_food_safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.