LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The intense winter weather East Texas has been experiencing has brought with it power outages for many people. On Thursday, Leisha Kidd-Brooks, Environmental Health Manager for the City of Longview, answered questions about how to know when food is no longer safe to eat.
Kidd-Brooks said that the first rule of thumb is “When in doubt, throw it out.” If you aren’t sure that your refrigerator stayed below 41 degrees F at any time, the food inside could be dangerous to eat. The exception would be things like still-sealed, never opened bottles of condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise. However, if those items had been previously opened, they need to be discarded if they were above the 41 degree safe zone.
She also said that refrigerators will likely stay at the 41 degree safety zone for about four hours if left closed. Once it goes beyond four hours without power, though, food should no longer be considered safe.
For even more tips, watch our fun interview with the self-proclaimed “Food Safety Queen.”