The Northeast Texas Public Health District has plenty of tips for food safety if your power goes out for an extended period of time.
Steps to Follow to Prepare for a Possible Weather Emergency: Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.
Make sure the freezer is at 0 °F (Fahrenheit) or below and the refrigerator is at 40 °F or below.
Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out.
Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately-this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
Group food together in the freezer - this helps the food stay cold longer.
Steps to Follow During and After the Weather Emergency:
Never taste a food to determine its safety!
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
If the power has been out for several days, then check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below, the food is safe.
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, then check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.
Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
When to Save and When to Throw It Out
Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes
Friday, May 24 2013 10:21 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:21:23 GMT
From the Tyler Police Department:At approximately 5:20Pm on May 24, 2013, Tyler Police were notified of the motorcycle accident at Grande and Sutherland. The driver of a black Ford F-150 was heading east onMore >>
Rider was not wearing a helmet when she collided with a truck.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:59:21 GMT
A Tyler ISD bus driver was arrested Friday afternoon on drug charges.Ronald Gain, 44, of Tyler, was arrested by the Tyler Police Department on one charge of possession of a controlled substance. TylerMore >>
Has worked for the district since August of 2012.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 9:18 AM EDT2013-05-25 13:18:01 GMT
Cherokee County authorities are investigating a fatal house fire Friday night. It happened just before 7:30 on County Road 3302 outside of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Fire Department, Cherokee CountyMore >>
Happened just outside of Jacksonville on Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:20 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:20:39 GMT
Fire crews have closed a street in north Tyler as they fight an apartment fire. Several crews are on the scene at an apartment complex in the 700 block of South Kennedy Avenue. The fire started aroundMore >>
Fire crews closed a street in north Tyler as they battled an apartment fire.More >>