NH DHHS Provides Recommendations on Food Safety During Power Outages

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is providing food safety

recommendations for residents in case they lose power as a result of

Hurricane Sandy.

“As important as it is to have enough food and water on hand for your

family in case you lose power, is to make sure you keep the food safe to

avoid the potential for food-borne illness,” said New Hampshire’s Public

Health Director Dr. José Montero. “Food safety is always a big concern

when the power is off for an extended period of time. We would advise

people to take extra care when determining if their food should be saved or

thrown out. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if it has been

contaminated with dangerous bacteria. We would advise people if they have

any doubt to throw it out.”

The US Department of Agriculture recommends taking the following steps

during and after a weather emergency:

· Never taste food to determine if it is safe

· 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

approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door

remains closed

· Food can be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or

is at 40°F or below

· Get block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as

cold as possible if the power is going to be out for an extended

period of time

· Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish,

soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours

without power.