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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: Keeping food safe during power outages
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Rae-Ann Tucker-Marshall
Henry-Stark Health Department
Dec. 30, 2013 10 a.m.

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that refrigerators
and freezers are two of the home's most indispensable servants. Therefore,
when the power fails, or when the appliance breaks down, we often panic. If
your power goes out, knowing what to do with the food in your refrigerator
and freezer can help you stay healthy. The last thing you need after a
weather emergency is a case of food poisoning.
If your power fails, the Health Department reminds you that all need not
be lost, and suggests the following hints to help you keep your cool.
* If the power fails, always keep the refrigerator and freezer doors
closed. Never open them just to "check things out." You'll lose precious
cool air, and make matter worse.
* If you choose to place ice in and around refrigerator items, make
certain you also insert enough containers to catch what melts, and don't
allow foods to sit in water for any length of time.
Dorothy David, Health Department Director of Environmental Health
Services, notes "An unopened full freezer will keep foods frozen for up to 2
full days. If it's necessary to add ice to the freezer, make certain you
handle it only with adequate ventilation and while wearing protective
gloves."
David adds, "When power is restored, check all foods, fresh or frozen,
to determine safety. Discard any food that has a unusual odor, color, or
texture, or feels warm to the touch. Remember the saying, "When in doubt,
throw it out."
For more information of food safety, contact the Environmental Health
Division of the Henry and Stark County Health Department at (309) 852-0197
or 792-4011 (Henry) or 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at
www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County
Health Departments.

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