Food safety tips after losing power

(WSVN) - During Hurricane Irma, many of us lost power. That means some foods won’t stay refrigerated the way they need to. Here are a few tips to help you figure what is still good and what isn’t.

If your refrigerator has lost its cool, you need to toss the things that can make you sick. First on the list are perishable foods like meat, poultry and fish.

“Avoid things with mayonnaise, cream, eggs that have been sitting around in a warm temperature for more than several hours,” said Dr. Frederick Keroff. “Throw it out.”

If your food smells off, has an unusual color or feels warm to the touch, throw it out.

“I think common sense applies,” Keroff said. “If it doesn’t look good, if it doesn’t smell good, then don’t use it.”

Food will stay cold in the refrigerator for about four hours after the power goes out, but it keeps longer in the freezer: two days if it’s full, about one day if it’s half-full.

“As things become defrosted in the freezer, use them soon, and then after that, if you don’t use them after 24 hours after they’ve become defrosted, don’t use them at all,” Keroff said.

If your power does come back on, the USDA says you can safely refreeze thawed meat as long as you know it has been kept cold.

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