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Keeping Refrigerated Items Safe During a Power Outage

With Hurricane Sandy predicted to hit the East Coast hard for the next few days, losing power is a very real threat to hundreds of thousands.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service prepared a fact sheet for keeping food safe during an emergency, including losing power.

The USDA says to “keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.”

But, the refrigerator will only keep food safely cold for about four hours if unopened during a power outage, according to the USDA. A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours if full (24 hours of half full), the USDA says.

The USDA emphasizes “never to taste food to determine its safety” and says that you should “evaluate each item separately.”

Generally, if the temperature in the thermometer in the freezer reads 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the food is safe and can be refrozen…

Read more: Jeremie Smith,  Shrewsbury Patch

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