October 29, 2012
Hurricane Sandy is quickly approaching! With her assault on its way, many may be wondering what they need to do to keep lifesaving supplies, especially if the power goes out. One of the most vital supplies is food. The USDA recently issued tips on how to keep perishables from spoiling.
Be prepared with flashlights, batteries, medications, water, blankets, cash and food. The top three foods that the USDA stresses are meat, poultry and eggs. These need to be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below in order to avoid foodborne illnesses. If the power does go out, you have at least four hours that your food will be cold. A full freezer can keep cold for 48 hours while a half freezer can keep cold for 24 hours. Coolers can be used to extend foods life. Remember than any frozen foods must be kept below 0 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to consume.
Some other tips include:
· Use a thermometer to test the temperature of food to ensure it is safe
· Have ice handy in your freezer in case the power does go out
· Fill containers with water and store them in your fridge and freezer. This will help keep food long and can be used as a backup water supply in case of emergency.
· In your pantry, store all items on higher shelves in case of flooding
For more tips and safety measures, check out the USDAs: A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety during Severe Storms & Hurricanes at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/pdf/severe_storms_and_hurricanes_guide.pdf.
Or visit their website at www.fsis.usda.gov. You can also call them their toll- free hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).