As power is slowly restored to all of Texas, now is a good time to clean out your fridge and freezer.
Knowing what is or isn't safe to eat after a power outage can save you time, money, and from a potential case of food poisoning.
The CDC also advises people not to taste test food to determine their safety. Foods with a strong odor, strange color or texture, or feel warm should be trashed. When it doubt, throw it out.
Most fridges will keep food fresh for up to 4 hours without power. After that perishable foods in the fridge should be thrown away. That includes
- Raw meat, pork, chicken or seafood
- Lunch meat, hot dogs, and bacon
- Soft cheeses
- Shredded cheese
- Cut fresh fruit and vegetables
- Cooked pasta
- Prepackaged greens and salads
A complete list can be found at foodsafety.gov.
Food in the freezer can last longer without electricity, but it depends on how full your freezer is. A full freezer can keep food cold for up to 48 hours, while a half full freezer can keep food for 24 hours after losing power.
Most foods should be thrown out if the temperature inside your freezer was higher than 40° F. However, some foods can be refrozen if they have ice crystals or the temperature feels cold like they've been in the fridge.
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