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Disaster Preparedness: Frozen Food Safety

(photo credit: dreamstime.com)

With the high likelihood that many homes will lose power during the upcoming storm, it’s a good idea to be prepared for an extended power outage. What do you do with all the food in your freezer?
* It’s a good idea to put a refrigerator/freezer thermometer in the freezer so you can monitor the temperature to make sure it stays at 40 degrees or lower.
* If you can get dry ice, a 50 pound block will protect food in a 20-cubic foot freezer for 3-4 days.
* Thawed foods that can be safely re-frozen if they show no signs of spoilage or mold growth include fruits and breads, nuts, doughnuts, cookies and cakes.
* Foods that should only be re-frozen if you know the temperature has stayed at 40 or below include meats and poultry, vegetables, shellfish, cooked foods, ice cream and creamed foods.
* If you know for sure that the temperature has stayed at 40 degrees or colder, you can usually use the food within 2-3 days, just as if you had thawed it in the refrigerator. Refrozen food should be used as soon as possible because the quality will not be as good.

If you have questions or concerns, please call the UF/IFAS Santa Rosa County Extension Service at 850-623-3868.

Permanent link to this article: http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2012/08/24/disaster-preparedness-frozen-food-safety/