USDA Provides Food Safety Tips for Hurricanes
We should have known it was coming. Hurricane season is always stressful, but especially this year. Not only do we have a pandemic to worry about, but we could be facing a tropical storm/hurricane within the next few days. So it's always best to be prepared, especially when it comes to keeping your food from being compromised during a weather emergency.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued some very valuable pointers on how to make sure your food is safe to eat during or after a hurricane. We're probably going to need this in the next couple of days, so y'all be careful out there. Some of the preparations to do in advance are below. But they also provide advice on what to do safely after a storm has passed.
- Make sure the freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 40°F or below.
- Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out.
- Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
- Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
- Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
- And remember, don't ever taste food to determine if it is safe or not