[Blueboard] Food Safety Before, During and After a Power Outage

Office of Food Safety and Quality Assurance [FSQA] fsqa at ateneo.edu
Fri Oct 30 16:07:00 PHT 2015

As we celebrate the month of October as Food Safety Month, the Office for
Food Safety and Quality Assurance, in cooperation with the Food Safety and
Nutrition Advisory Council (AFSNAC) of each Unit, would like to share some
important guides to food safety to the Ateneo Community.

For the past years, the most recent of which is typhoon " Lando", the
Philippines experienced a number of casualties. Following a typhoon and
flooding, affected communities face the risks of contaminated water
sources, lack of food, and epidemics such as cholera and diarrhea. Power
outage which may compromise food safety since temperature and sanitation of
food storage areas is crucial in preventing bacterial growth. Knowing what
to do during these instances can minimize the risks of food poisoning and
food wastage.

The Consumers Guide to Food Safety from United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA), (Ref. USDA, Christopher Bernstein,  Food Safety and
Inspection Service), will help guide you and your family in responding
Before, During and After a Power Outage.

*Before the Power Goes Out (if there’s time)*

   - Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. The
   refrigerator temperature should remain 40 °F or lower, and the freezer
   should be 0 °F or lower.
   - Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of
   contaminated water in case of flooding.
   - Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and
   poultry that you may not need immediately – this helps keep them at a safe
   temperature longer.
   - Have coolers and frozen gel packs on hand to keep refrigerator food
   cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
   - Purchase or make ice and store in the freezer for use in the
   refrigerator or in a cooler.

*When the Power Goes Out*

   - Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
   - A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the
   door closed.
   - A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours
   if half-full).
   - If the power is out for an extended period of time, buy dry or block
   ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. Fifty pounds of dry ice
   should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

*After the Power Returns*

   - When the power comes back on, you will have to evaluate each item
   separately. When in doubt, throw it out.
   - With frozen food, check for ice crystals. The food in your freezer
   that partially or completely thaws may be safely refrozen if it still
   contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below.
   - Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture, or feels
   warm to the touch.
   - Never taste a food to determine its safety.

[image: Inline images 2]

Office for Food Safety and Quality Assurance
Office of Vice President for Administration
Ateneo de Manila University
Telephone Number 426 6001
Local 4174 to 4176
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