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updated: 7/5/2012 4:57 PM

DuPage health dept. offers tips for power outages

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DuPage County Health Department

DUPAGE COUNTY--The DuPage County Health Department has some tips for residents who have questions about food in refrigerators and freezers after a power outage:

FREEZER FOOD--Never taste food to determine its safety. You will have to evaluate each item separately. If there is an appliance thermometer in the freezer, the temperature must be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below for safe food and food that may be refrozen. If there is no thermometer in the freezer, you must check each item with a food thermometer. Remember you can't rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, it is safe to refreeze.

REFRIGERATED FOOD--Refrigerated food is considered unsafe if power was out more than four hours. Discard perishable food, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food. Throw away any food that has a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

GENERAL ADVICE--When in doubt, throw it out.

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