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Department of Health advises caution as power returns

August 30, 2011

As power is slowly restored across the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) offers advice regarding safe food selections.

HEALTH advises that any food item in question should be thrown out, according to a press release dated Aug. 29. When power is restored, people should be aware of HEALTH recommendations to prevent sickness from spoiled food.

If the temperature of the freezer or refrigerator is elevated to 40 degrees or above, perishables such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and soft cheeses should be thrown away.

Food can be, according to HEALTH, safely refrozen if there are still ice crystals on the item or if the temperature has remained below 40 degrees, according to the press release.

For residents still without power, they should attempt to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain cool temperatures.

Food will be safe for up to four hours in the refrigerator if doors are kept closed. In a full freezer, items will remain safe for consumption for up to 48 hours. HEALTH states that for a half-full freezer, items will remain safe for up to 24 hours if doors are kept closed.

“You cannot see, smell or taste bacteria that may be growing on spoiled food,” HEALTH advises, reiterating that residents should throw out any item in question.

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