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Friday, January 28, 2011

Food Safety : Refrigiration And Power Outages, Keeping Food And Your Family Safe During an Emergency

Government  Food safety site has published a chart, adapted from "Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency",  USDA,.(United States Department of Agriculture).
I am sure you have asked yourself a few times "Is food in the refrigerator safe during a power outage?"
It depends on the length of the outage and the ambient temperature.
Usually refrigerated food safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the Fridge / Refrigerator doors closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours. Following chard has some information.

Simply, never judge the safety of by the looks and never taste food to see if it is safe. As a rule, Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

Be healthy, a few dollars you save may not worth it and evaluate each food item individually.


Food CategoriesSpecific FoodsHeld above 40 °F for over 2 hours
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOODRaw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutesDiscard
Thawing meat or poultryDiscard
Salads: Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg saladDiscard
Gravy, stuffing, brothDiscard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beefDiscard
Pizza – with any toppingDiscard
Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"Discard
Canned meats and fish, openedDiscard
Casseroles, soups, stewsDiscard
CHEESESoft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso frescoDiscard
Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, RomanoSafe
Processed CheesesSafe
Shredded CheesesDiscard
Low-fat CheesesDiscard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)Safe
DAIRYMilk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milkDiscard
Butter, margarineSafe
Baby formula, openedDiscard
EGGSFresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg productsDiscard
Custards and puddings, quicheDiscard
FRUITSFresh fruits, cutDiscard
Fruit juices, openedSafe
Canned fruits, openedSafe
Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, datesSafe
SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMSOpened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradishDiscard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.
Peanut butterSafe
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, picklesSafe
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin saucesSafe
Fish sauces, oyster sauceDiscard
Opened vinegar-based dressingsSafe
Opened creamy-based dressingsDiscard
Spaghetti sauce, opened jarDiscard
BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES, PASTA, GRAINSBread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillasSafe
Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie doughDiscard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoesDiscard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigretteDiscard
Fresh pastaDiscard
CheesecakeDiscard
Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagelsSafe
PIES, PASTRYPastries, cream filledDiscard
Pies – custard, cheese filled, or chiffon; quicheDiscard
Pies, fruitSafe
VEGETABLESFresh mushrooms, herbs, spicesSafe
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packagedDiscard
Vegetables, rawSafe
Vegetables, cooked; tofuDiscard
Vegetable juice, openedDiscard
Baked potatoesDiscard
Commercial garlic in oilDiscard
Potato saladDiscard
Casseroles, soups, stewsDiscard

Foodsafety.gov

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