A screen shot from the federal government's website on food safety http://www.foodsafety.gc.ca/english/fssa/prepare.asp
The Newfoundland Department of Health and Community Services and Fire and Emergency Services are advising residents who may be experiencing prolonged power interruptions that precautions should be taken to ensure food safety.
They provided the following tips today in a news release:
• Do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unless absolutely necessary in order to maintain the cold temperature. A full freezer will keep food frozen for about 48 hours. A freezer that is half full will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
• If available, add ice to the refrigerator to keep the food at a safe temperature if the power will be out for long period of time.
• Carefully inspect all food items and do not eat any food you think may not be safe. Spoiled food may not look contaminated. The general advice from food safety experts remains “when in doubt, throw it out.”
• Any food thawed at room temperature for two or more hours should be discarded, as well as any food that has an obvious unusual colour or odour. However, it is important to keep in mind that food contaminated with bacteria does not necessarily smell bad or appear spoiled.
• Keep cold food cold. Use dry ice or an ice chest. If food is cold to touch, it is probably safe to keep, use or refreeze.
• Discard meat, seafood, dairy products and cooked food that are not cold to the touch.
• A clean source of water can be used to mix skim milk powder or dilute canned milk and use on cereal or to mix with instant puddings.
• If there is a way to heat or cook foods, canned vegetables, canned stews, soups and pastas can be used. Also, warm drinks such as hot chocolate can be made with milk.
• Cold temperatures stop the growth of bacteria to reduce risk of it causing illness. Normal refrigeration temperature is 4°C (40°F), or below, and normal freezer temperature is -18°C (0°F), or below.
More information on general food safety can be found at www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publichealth/envhealth/foodsafetyinfo.html
The Government of Canada also has a website with tips for food safety at http://www.foodsafety.gc.ca/english/fssa/prepare.asp