Beth Kitchin PhD RDN blogs on health and nutrition. Her blogs are fact-based and offer a common sense approach to a healthier life. She's a food lover so don't expect her to tell you what not to eat! Beth is a an Assistant Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Nutrition Sciences Department and the patient educator at UAB's Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic. She also appears weekly as a guest contributor on WBRC's morning show "Good Day Alabama".
Alabamians are no strangers to severe weather and the power outages that often come with it.Hurricanes, tropical storms, straight line winds and tornadoes often leave you without electricity. With Tropical Storm /Hurricane Isaac heading our way later this week, let’s review a few key food safety tips to prepare for the storm. We’ll also talk about what to throw out and keep after a long power outage. Here are some tips from the folks at FoodSafety.Gov!
Before the Power Outage:
·Appliance Thermometers. You should have one in your freezer and your fridge. Not only will it help you keep the temps at the right level during fair weather, you can tell after a power outage to tell if the food is still safe.
·Fill Your Freezer. A full freezer will keep food safe longer. Group your foods close together and fill plastic container with water and freeze them if your freezer is not full.
·Keep a Supply of Bottled Water Stored in a Safe, Dry Place.
During and After the Power Outage:
·Keep Fridge/Freezer Doors Shut: Food in the fridge will be safe for 4 hours if you keep the door shut. A closed, full freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours if you don’t open it. That time span drops to 24 for a half-full freezer.
·Check the Temps: If the freezer temp is 40 degrees or lower, it is safe to refreeze the foods; if the fridge temps are above 40 here are the rules:
·Raw or cooked eggs, meat, poultry, fish
·Casseroles, soups, stews
·Soft cheeses like cream cheese, cottage cheese, brie, mozzarella
·Cut fresh fruit
·Cooked Pasta, Rice or Potatoes
·Creamy Salad Dressing and Mayonnaise
·Jelly, mustard, ketchup, pickles, olives
·Hard cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, parmesan - whole or grated)