Food Safety Tips During Power Outage

Tuesday, December 1st 2015, 9:56 am
By: News 9

Tens of thousands of Oklahomans are waking up without power for a fourth day in a row. While you're probably cold, chances are your refrigerator and everything inside of it is not.

11/30/2015 Related Story: Thousands Still Without Power Across Oklahoma

Whether your power has been out for hours or days, it's important to know what is still safe to eat and what needs to be thrown out.

The Oklahoma City County Health Department said if the power is off for less than four hours, unopened food should be fine as long as it has not gotten above 40 degrees.

A full freezer will keep food at a safe temperature for up to two days if you keep the door shut.

However, foodborne bacteria can start growing in things like meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and mayonnaise after it's been kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours.

They advise you not to rely on your sense of smell to determine if something is safe to eat. And tasting is even worse because that can lead to a foodborne illness like salmonella.

One more thing to know, if your frozen food still has ice crystals around it, it's safe to eat.