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Is The Food In Your Refrigerator Safe? [AUDIO]

FULL COVERAGE: NJ Surveys Damage, Finds Shore in Ruins

If your power has gone out, all the food in your refrigerator has probably gone bad by now.

Flickr User Listener42

New Jersey State Epidemiologist Dr. Tina Tan says, “Don’t eat any food that smells bad, looks bad or has touched flood water in general. The general mantra to remember is, that when you’re in doubt, throw your food out.”

She says, “Perishable foods, such as meat, seafood, poultry, milk and eggs that have not been kept adequately refrigerated or frozen can cause illness, even when they’re thoroughly cooked – so when in doubt, throw that food out.”

Dr. Tan points out, “If you don’t have electricity, don’t even think about eating food that’s been sitting in your refrigerator, food will stay cold in the refrigerator for about 4 hours if it’s left unopened after you lose power, and a full freezer will tend to keep the temperature for approximately 2 days, or 1 day if the freezer is half full, if the door remains closed.”

“You can add block ice or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity is expected to be out for a long period of time, but it’s important to check the freezer temperature is at or below 0 degrees or that the refrigerator is at or below 40 degrees…And in areas that were flooded, if there’s any chance that food has come into with flood water or hasn’t been in any sort of waterproof container, discard that food…Even if you cook food thoroughly, there’s still a chance that you could get a food-borne illness, especially for perishable food, such as meat, poultry and seafood.”

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