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Friday, January 30 2009

Food Safety During Power Outages, What to Keep & What to Toss

 

News Release:

VANDERBURGH COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

 

EvansvilleVanderburgh County and the surrounding area has been hit with a terrible ice storm and power outages. Many homes and businesses have food that has been affected. Everyone should be advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves from consuming food that may have been put at risk because of the lack of refrigeration.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department would like to give some advice to those without power and refrigeration. The following information can be used as a guide, and if there are further questions a call to the Health Department can be made to (812) 435-5695.

 

FOOD SAFETY DURING POWER OUTAGES

When there is a power outage:

Potentially hazardous foods are those foods, such as high protein foods (meat, egg, dairy) and cooked vegetables, that support the rapid and progressive growth of disease causing bacteria.

Foodborne illnesses can be caused by bacteria that can multiply rapidly in foods when the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41 degrees F to 135 Degrees F).

 

Keep refrigerated potentially hazardous foods stored below 41 degrees F.

 

Frozen foods must be maintained frozen.

 

Hot potentially hazardous food must be maintained at 135 degrees F.

Freezers

Leave the freezer door closed. A full freezer should keep food safe about two (2) days, and a half -full freezer, about one (1) day. You can safely re-freeze thawed foods that still have ice crystals and are less than 41 degrees F. Dry ice or bags of ice can added to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended time.

Refrigerators

Food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as the power is out no more than about four (4) to six (6) hours. Leave the door closed because every time you open it, needed cold air escapes, allowing the foods inside to reach unsafe temperatures. Discard any potentially hazardous food that has been above 41 degrees F for (4) four hours or more, any non-potentially hazardous food that has reached a temperature of 45 degrees F or higher for any length of time, or has an unusual color, odor, or texture.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out!

Some other things you can do if the power is out for extended periods of time.

 

Check with friends and family who might have electricity and ask to store your food in their refrigerator until your power is restored.

 

Once your refrigerator reaches 45°F, you shouldn't use the food.

 

Once the food in your freezer has thawed out, either cook it immediately or throw it out.

 

Long-term, a cooler with ice isn't sufficient in maintaining a safe temperature.

 

For short periods of time, if the out door temperature is below freezing you may also want to place food into a cooler or protected container and set it outside, completely avoid setting it in any sun.

As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

 

Other Food Safety Tips

REFRIGERATOR FOODS When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Held above 40°F for over 2 hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, or seafood

Discard

Thawing meat or poultry

Discard

Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad

Discard

Gravy, stuffing

Discard

Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef

Discard

Canned meats, opened

Discard

Pizza - with any topping

Discard

Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"

Discard

CHEESE

Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel

Discard

Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano

Safe

Processed Cheeses

Safe

Shredded Cheeses

Discard

Low-fat Cheeses

Discard

Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)

Safe

DAIRY

Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt

Discard

Butter, margarine

Safe

Baby formula, opened

Discard

EGGS

Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products

Discard

Custards and puddings

Discard

CASSEROLES, SOUPS, STEWS

Discard

FRUITS

Fresh fruits, cut

Discard

Fruit juices, opened

Safe

Canned fruits, opened

Safe

Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates

Safe

SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS

Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50°F for more than eight hours.

Peanut butter

Safe

Jelly; relish; taco, barbecue & soy sauce; mustard; catsup; olives

Safe

Worcestershire sauce

Discard

Fish sauces (oyster sauce)

Discard

Opened vinegar-based dressings

Safe

Opened creamy-based dressings

Discard

Spaghetti sauce, opened jar

Discard

BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA

Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads

Safe

Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough

Discard

Cooked pasta, spaghetti

Discard

Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette

Discard

Fresh pasta

Discard

Cheesecake

Discard

Breakfast foods - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Safe

PIES, PASTRY

Pastries, cream filled

Discard

Pies - custard, cheese filled, or chiffon

Discard

Pies, fruit

Safe

VEGETABLES

Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe

Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged

Discard

Vegetables, raw

Safe

Vegetables, cooked

Discard

Vegetable juice, opened

Discard

Baked potatoes

Discard

Commercial garlic in oil

Discard

Potato Salad

Discard

FROZEN FOOD When to Save and When to Throw It Out

FOOD

Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated

Thawed. Held above 40°F for more than two hours

MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats

Refreeze

Discard

Poultry and ground poultry

Refreeze

Discard

Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles, stews, soups

Refreeze

Discard

Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss.

Discard

DAIRY

Milk

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Eggs (out of shell) and egg products

Refreeze

Discard

Ice cream, frozen yogurt

Discard

Discard

Cheese (soft and semi-soft)

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard

Hard cheeses

Refreeze

Refreeze

Shredded cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Cheesecake

Refreeze

Discard

FRUITS

Juices

Refreeze

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

Home or commercially packaged

Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor.

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

VEGETABLES

Juices

Refreeze

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

Home or commercially packaged or blanched

Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss.

Discard after held above 40°F for six hours.

BREADS, PASTRIES

Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without

Refreeze

Refreeze

custard fillings)

Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling

Refreeze

Discard

Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread dough

Refreeze. Some quality loss may occur.

Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.

OTHER

Casseroles - pasta, rice based

Refreeze

Discard

Flour, cornmeal, nuts

Refreeze

Refreeze

Breakfast items - waffles, pancakes, bagels

Refreeze

Refreeze

Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods)

Refreeze

Discard

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/content/fulltext/?cid=52711

Posted by: Rolando AT 10:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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