Food Safety thread

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Food Safety thread
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 8:21am
You've had a storm, an automobile has hit a power pole...some way, you are without electricity, and it's been several hours to a day...still no power. What do you do to assure that your refrigerated and frozen food stays safe to eat?

If you've come home from work or a trip to such, what do you throw away (no doors open for 12 to 24 hours)? Is your refrigerator and/or freezer good enough to fend off such disaster?

Please give me your response to this question. So many people in a lot of areas of this country alone have had such happen to them this year.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 8:21am
I guess I'll start by making this recommendation: If you have a freezer, have as much ice on hand as possible to keep it full to capacity. If your power goes out, bag some of the ice to place into the top racks of your refrigerator, and bring everything else lower. We all know that cold air sinks, and by having your refrigerator and freezers as full as possible, they will hold the cold much better. Adding ice as soon as power goes out, then keeping the doors closed after that will help hold the temperatures low enough to keep food items safe for quite a while.

If however the ice melts completely due to an extended time period without electricity, then make sure that milk products, and anything containing eggs are thrown away, followed by meats themselves. Any meats kept in the refrigerator instead of a freezer are subject to being on the list of "firsts" to throw away as well.

Any tomato based products should never be kept in metalic containers once opened due to the acid in tomato products reaction to metals along with air. The same holds true for vinegar based products like pickled items and relish. I won't even purchase saur kraut in metal cans myself, as I can taste the metalic taste difference in it.

Mitch....hoping others give their do's and don'ts for such cases.

Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 2:32am
Here is how it happens. You are getting dressed for work one morning and your animals are freaking out. You walk outside and the air pressure is something you can't help but notice, just as a huge gust takes the door completely off the hinges and your roof is no longer on top of your house. A tree suddenly turns your Lexus into a soda can. Poof, no power. And no phone.

Was it just you or is everone else OK? if you could turn on the TV...dammit! you think you might not make it to work today and fumble for the cell phopne you never charge in order to call in, since your car is under an 80 ton oak...

The next day you have been careful about not opening the fridge much, and you clean up an old cooler to go find some ice. on foot. No store you can reach on foot is open, and that cell phone is dead as a murph. The following day the bologna you are using to make sandwiches for Aunt Martha is slimy and glowing irridescent green. Nothing you can get to on foot is open, you have no phone and no power and no tranportation...and rain was not in your decorator's options as a wall treatment, but you are looking at it. You wonder if you still have a job.

The generator you bought in the 3-week power outage in 1994's ice storm is in the garage. You drag it out, hook up the fridge to it, and siphon the gas out of the crushed car to run it. Then you set out on foot with a gas can, looking for more gas to keep the generator running. Nothing is open, and gas pumps have to have electricity.

Since you learned in the 1994 outage to stockpile canned goods, Aunt Martha has become quite fragrant eating nothing but Bush's baked beans. You are sure the lack of a roof is a gift from God, in some twisted way. You have erected a small shelter from drapes and linens in the back yard to sleep in, since it is 95F, and you try to envision yourself as the Sheik of Arabique as you close your eyes at night, wondering if you still have a job.

A few days later, your trips out on foot have bumped you into others with empty gas cans and empty ice chests, and you have found where the emergency crews in your area are dropping off ice. you are finding out there is gas nearby and you get someone to take you there to get gas for your generator. While you are there at the gas station that has power, you call the rent-a-car agency and they laugh at your silly notion that there would be a rental car available that does not come with a tree on top of it. You go home wondering if you still have a job.

Three weeks later, you have cave man certification. You have been cooking over small limbs you cut from the tree, and you have figured out how to shower and dress and get to work, and you appear to be functioning pretty normally. But the daily trips for gas and ice are getting to you. You are not one to be trifled with at this point.

Welcome to Memphis.