(WAFB) - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering up some important food safety tips to keep in mind during a power outage.
A refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during an outage, the USDA says, but the department recommends you keep the door closed to keep as much cold air inside as possible. Perishable food such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and leftovers should be thrown away if the outage lasts for than four hours.
The USDA advises food should not be tasted to determine its safety after an outage. Instead, use this chart as a guide.
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When it comes to freezers, food will remain at a safe temperature for about 48 hours in a full freezer, and for about half that time in a more empty freezer (if the door remains closed). Food can be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at or below 40°, the USDA says. The quality of the food may suffer from refreezing, however. Again, do not taste food to determine its safety. Use this guide instead.