During hte Cranston Fire, power was out from Wednesday afternoon until Friday afternoon.
Here are some safety thoughts courtesy of the Cranston Fire team:
During energy shortages the California Independent System can order rolling blackouts. The utility companies divide their customers into “blocks” that are randomly blacked out one by one. This bulletin is provided to assist you in maintaining safe food handling practices in your home in case of a power outage. Your family’s health need not be compromised by suspect foods if you follow appropriate safety measures.
Ø If electricity is off for one hour or less:
1) Food held in refrigerators or freezers may still be safe when the power outage is of a short duration.
o Keep refrigerator/freezer doors closed while the power is off.
o Group frozen foods close together in freezer.
Ø If electricity is off for longer than one hour:
2) Food will need to be evaluated and discarded if there is any doubt as to the safety of food.
o Keep refrigerator/freezer doors closed as long as possible
o Add clean ice or dry ice inside refrigerators/freezers to extend cold storage times. (Never handle dry ice with bare hands, or inhale fumes directly)
o Have an accurate probe thermometer in your kitchen to measure food temperatures.
o Discard any foods that have been in the “Danger Zone”, above 41°F for more than 2 hours.
Ø You cannot tell if a food will make you sick by odor or appearance!
3) Bacteria can multiply at an extremely fast pace. Many bacteria leave toxins that will not be destroyed by reheating or re-cooling. If you have perishables that have been in the “Danger Zone” for over 2 hours, it’s best to throw out that food.
Do not take any chances with your health or your family’s health.
And southern California Edison offers this advice,"If a power outage happens while you're out of the house, try to determine how long it has been out. Check the internal temperature of perishables in your refrigerator with a quick-response thermometer; any item above 40 degrees should be thrown out. If power comes back on in less than 24 hours and your freezer is fairly full, your frozen items should be safe. If the refrigerator was out for more than 24 hours, you should get rid of perishables."