Many Louisiana residents have been impacted by severe flooding. In response, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing food safety recommendations to guide those in Louisiana who have been affected.
Many Louisiana residents have been impacted by severe flooding. In response, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations to guide those in Louisiana who have been affected.
The comprehensive food safety education lists strong recommendations that consumers may take to reduce their risk for food-borne illnesses during these severe flooding events.
You can take preventative measures before a potential power outage to maintain the integrity of your food. The USDA recommends keeping thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer to keep track of temperatures. Other recommendations include placing meat and poultry separate from other foods to avoid cross contamination in the even thawing happens. Consumers may also purchase blocks of dry ice, a 50lb block should keep a fully stocked refrigerator or freezer cold for two days.
If consumers lose power the USDA recommends the following:
In the event you are without power for longer than two days, Foodsafety.gov has compiled a list of foods to be discarded in the event your refrigerator has been above 40° for more than two hours:
FSIS will provide relevant food safety information as the flooding progresses from their Twitter feed @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook page.
FSIS also has a video on YouTube entitled, Food Safety During Power Outages, with complete food safety instructions. They have also published A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Sever Storms and Hurricanes which contains details of what you can do before, during, and after a power outage.
For consumers who might have questions regarding food safety they can “Ask Karen” the FSIS virtual representative. Consumers can also email, chat with a live representative or call the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline at (888)674-6854 between the hours of 10:00am — 4:00pm.
Feature Picture Source: Jonathan Bachman / Reuters / Creative Commons.