What food is safe, what’s not after a power outage

February 12, 2014 

Food safety tips

If you lost power during the ice storm, use these tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a guide to determine what food to keep and what to throw out.

The refrigerator will keep food at a safe temperature for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep food safe for about 48 hours, or 24 hours if it is half full, if the door remains closed. Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or colder.

The USDA recommends discarding the following food after it has been held at temperatures of greater than 40 degrees for more than two hours.

• Meat and food containing meat (like casseroles).

• Soft, shredded and low-fat cheeses. Hard cheeses are OK.

• Most dairy products. Butter and margarine are OK.

• Eggs.

• Cut fresh fruit. Fruit juices, canned fruits and whole fruits are OK.

• Fish and oyster sauce, creamy dressings and opened spaghetti sauce. Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce and horseradish should be discarded after they are held at temperatures of greater than 50 degrees for eight hours. Jelly, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and vinegar-based dressings are OK.

• Refrigerator biscuits, cooked and fresh pasta, rice and potatoes. Bread, muffins, tortillas and bagels are OK.

• Pre-cut, pre-washed greens, cooked vegetables and open vegetable juice. Raw vegetables, fresh mushrooms, herbs and spices are OK.

For more detailed information about food safety, visit this webpage of the USDA: www.goo.gl/2tpNU4.

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