Food safety during a power outage

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- There are a number of things you’ll want to plan for during a hurricane. One of them is food safety. A problem that could come up is a power outage, and that means your freezer may not keep your food safe. The magic number is 40 degrees. If your food reaches a temperature above that, it will start to grow bacteria. Your best bet will be to throw it out because eating it could make you sick.

Clemson Food Safety Agent Chad Carter says, “This could end you up in the hospital, depending on if you’re a small child or elderly person, or have a compromised immune system. And not to be gloom and doom, but this could end in death for some folks that may not have a very strong immune system. So it’s kind of better, the money you waste in food you might end up spending in the hospital, so it’s better safe than sorry.”

And there’s something you may have seen already on the internet that Carters says is a good hack to test your freezer if you don’t plan on being home during a storm.

Take a cup, fill it with water, and put it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, place a coin on top. If that coin drops down in the cup by the time you get home, that means your power went out and your freezer had time to defrost. He says testing the temperature of the food during an outage is the safest bet, but this is a good back up plan in case the power is already back on by the time you get home.



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