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


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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