OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department is offering food safety tips to residents that have experienced power outages due to the recent severe weather.
“If the power in your home was out for less than two hours, the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to eat,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said. “Keep the appliance doors closed as much as possible while the power is out to preserve the cold.”
They also offer solutions on how to save perishable items if the power has been out for more than two hours:
- Pack items from the refrigerated section, like milk, meat, eggs, and spoilable leftovers, into a cooler full of ice.
- Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work to store these items as well.
- Be sure to check the temperature of your food before you cook or eat it.
- Throw away food with a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Storing food in dry ice is an option.
Other tips they offered are that you could ask for help from friends or family that have electricity to share some freezer space or look for freezer space in a store, church, school, or commercial freezer.
“To be safe, the best practice is when in doubt, throw it out,” said Huse. “Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two or more hours, and any food that has an unusual smell, look, or feel.”