Did you know
that a flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds,
snow, or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food? Knowing how to determine
if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss
of food and reduce the risk of food-borne illness.
Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated
at or below 40 ºF and frozen food at or below
0 ºF. This may be difficult when the power is out. 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) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.
Plan ahead and
know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased. Having items on hand that
don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on the outdoor
grill. Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should
be part of a planned emergency food supply. Make sure you have ready-to-use
baby formula for infants and pet food. Remember to use these items and replace
them from time to time. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener for an
you can do ahead of time to store your food safely in an emergency. If you live
in a location that could be affected by a flood, plan your food storage on
shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water. Coolers are a
great help for keeping food cold if the power will be out for more than 4
hours-have a couple on hand along with frozen gel packs. When your freezer is
not full, keep items close together-this helps the food stay cold longer.
or instant-read food thermometers and appliance thermometers will help you know
if the food is at safe temperatures. Keep appliance thermometers in the
refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer
will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer no matter
how long the power has been out. The refrigerator temperature should be 40 ºF
or below; the freezer, 0 ºF or lower. If you’re not sure a particular food is
cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.
Do not eat any
food that may have come into contact with flood water. Discard any food that is
not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into
contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those
with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard
cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come
in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and
sanitized. Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can
damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive
deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or
opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
At www.EmPrep.com we have expanded our line of
emergency food. We now have several brands of shelf stable dehydrated food that
is easy to store, easy to carry and easy to make. During and after a disaster
having enough food and water is essential. Having food that is nutritious is
also key to you survival. Emergency food
supplements your normal household supplies and is available to take with you if
you must evacuate.