We are well into the Hurricane Season now, and as many Bermudians know, September and October are historically the worst months for the Island to be impacted by a major storm.
It is always a good idea to be prepared. In addition to stocking up on water and non-perishable foods, it is also important to know how to plan for any power outage that may occur as the result of the storm and take the right steps to prevent foodborne illness.
Before the Storm. Plan ahead.
- Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.
The freezer temperature should be at or below 0°F and the refrigerator below 40°F.
In case of power outage, the thermometers will indicate the temperatures in your fridge and freezer to help determine whether or not the food is safe.
- Stock your refrigerator or freezer with containers/bags of frozen water, or freeze gel packs to help keep food cold longer in the event of an outage.
- Freeze any refrigerated items that you don’t need immediately e.g. leftovers, milk, fresh meat or poultry.
- Group food together in freezer. This helps food stay cold longer.
- Have a cooler filled with ice on hand to transfer food from the fridge or freezer to help keep food longer if the power is off more than 4 hours.
During the Storm.
After the Storm.
- Check the temperature inside your refrigerator and freezer. If they’re still at safe temperatures, your food should be fine.
- You can re-freeze foods that still contain ice crystals or is at 40°F or below.
- What you should throw out: meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, cooked pasta, cooked or cut veggies, baby formula.
NEVER TASTE FOOD TO DETERMINE ITS SAFETY! WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!