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Hurricane Sandy: Food Safety Tips

The city and state health departments offer advice on whether it's safe to eat perishable foods that may not have been consistently refrigerated.

The City of Alexandria and the Virginia Health Department offer these tips for salvaging food after a power outage.

  • Perishable, refrigerated foods such as meats, fish, poultry, and all dairy products that have been without refrigeration and have been above 41ºF for more than two hours should be discarded.
  • Any perishable food from the freezer that has thawed for more than two hours and is above 41ºF should be discarded.
  • Any food item discarded should be disposed of in well tied double‐bagged plastic garbage bags.
  • After the power returns, it is OK to refreeze frozen foods that still contain ice crystals and are below 41ºF. This includes meats, fish, vegetables and cheeses.
  • A well‐functioning freezer that remains unopened and is at least half-full will keep foods cold for about 24 hours.
Linda McDonough October 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM
The weather channel had a great tip. Fill zip lock bags with water and fill any empty spaces in your freezer with the bags. It will keep things in your freezer cold longer and will provide drinking water if needed.

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