Frozen, refrigerated foods need to be disposed of if still without power

With many Russell Countians facing power outages due to last week’s windstorm, refrigerated or frozen foods are now not safe to eat after the loss of electricity.

The CDC says to keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during a power outage. Opening the refrigerator or freezer doors lessens the time the food will safely keep.

If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for four to six hours in a refrigerator, 48 hours in a full freezer, or 24 hours in a half-full freezer.

The CDC says to never taste food to determine if it is safe to eat.

Throw out perishable food in your refrigerator (meat, fish, cut fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, and leftovers) after four hours without power or a cold source like dry ice. Throw out any food with an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Check temperatures of food kept in coolers or your refrigerator with an added cold source. Throw out food above 40°

If you have an appliance thermometer in your freezer, check to see if it is still at 40 °F or below.

You can safely refreeze or cook thawed frozen food that still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.

Officials say when in doubt, throw it out rather than risk a food-borne illness.