Last year more than 6 million people were left without electricity in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Currently, hundreds are without power in Puerto Rico in the wake of storms that struck there last year. If you are someone who is experiencing a power outage or know someone who has, don’t let food borne illnesses add to the problem. Here’s a guide to help you both monitor and know what to do with food following a power outage.
- Properly prepare your refrigerator: Prepare your fridge for an outage the moment severe weather strikes by making sure that it is at the right temperature. Ideally, your refrigerator should be between 35°F to 38°F. Also, invest in a thermometer.
- Avoid opening the refrigerator door: A shut refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. In the meantime, avoid opening the door to your refrigerator so that you can seal in the cold.
- Fill your freezer: A full freezer retains cold better than a half full or empty one.
- Use dry ice: Dry ice will keep items in your refrigerator cold for up to two extra days.
- Toss any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch: The FDA has a list of how long certain food items are safe after a black or brownout but in general: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers that have reached 40°F for more than 2 hours should be thrown out, while products such as peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce, jelly, and vinegar dressings will still be safe to eat for some time after a power outage. Foods that can last for longer than four hours include breads, raw fruits and vegetables, hard cheeses and herbs.
- When in doubt, throw it out: It is better to risk throwing out food that you have doubts about than to get some kind of food-borne illness.
That your home or company will experience a power outage at some time is inevitable. Thus, the smartest thing to do to prepare for such an eventuality is to have a fully functioning standby generator in Kansas City ready. This can help give you peace of mind and protect not only food items but your valuable electronics as well. We can also provide you with a residential electrical contractor in Kansas City for your business.