With more than 400,000 Duke Energy Customers without power in Pinellas County, many may be wondering about the safety of the food inside their refrigerators.
A guide found on foodsafety.gov helps answer that question. Most perishable food is safe for only four hours, if the refrigerator doors have remained closed.
“Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 degrees F. for over 2 hours,” the site says.
Food in the freezer can last a bit longer. According to the FDA, A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed.
Some foods will likely be OK, according to FoodSafety.gov, including Hard Cheeses, such as cheddar, Colby, Swiss, parmesan, provolone, Romano, processed cheeses and grated parmesan or Romano in a jar or can. All low-fat cheese should be discarded.
Butter and margarine is safe to keep, as is fruit juices, canned fruit, and uncut fresh fruit.
Peanut butter is safe. Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles is safe, so is Worcestershire sauce, soy barbecue and hoisin sauces. Opened vinegar-based dressings are safe, but all cream-based dressing should be discarded.
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads and tortillas are safe. Refrigerator biscuits, rolls and cookie dough should be thrown away. Breakfast foods, such as waffles, pancakes and bagels should be safe. Pies, including fruit should be safe; however, custard, cheese filled or chiffon and quiche should be discarded.
Fresh mushroom, herbs and spices are safe. Greens are not. Raw vegetables are safe. Cooked vegetables and tofu should be discarded. Opened vegetable juice should be discarded.