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Keeping Food Safe In A Power Outage - OSDH VIDEO SCRIPT
http://www.ok.gov/health/multimedia/OOC-Winter Safety_Food 20MB.mov (19.3 MB, MOV)

I’m Larry Weatherford with the Oklahoma State Department of Health with a few simple tips about keeping food safe when your power is out.

If you’re watching this, it’s probably on a smart phone, so we’ll keep it quick to save your battery…

Your power is out and you need to know what to do about the food in your refrigerator...

First, don’t even worry about the fridge for the next two hours.  Try to keep the door closed as much as possible and all of your food will be safe to consume IF the power comes back on within two hours.

Okay, if two hours have passed -- what now?  Food in a full freezer will be good for up to 48 hours -- if you don’t open the door every hour to see if it’s thawed.  If your freezer is half-full, it’s good for about 24 hours.

Food may be safely refrozen when the power is on if the food still has ice crystals or is at 40 F or below. You should evaluate each food item separately.  I bet you’ll find a few things that should be tossed regardless of the temperature.

The bottom line: Any food that warms to above 40 degrees for more than two hours?  Toss it out…  Now.  Don’t taste it to see if it’s good.  That’s not going to tell you much and it may give you other problems to think about.

One more thing:  Don’t put your food outside no matter how cold it is out there.  Outdoor temperatures vary greatly and the cold spot you choose may warm up from the sun or a breeze.  What you can do is make ice outside and use that ice to cool your food inside.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reminds you to keep your food cold, and if it’s not to throw it out.  More information is available at www.health.ok.gov

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