Federal Food Safety Guidelines
Has your fridge or freezer turned off and the food is still inside? Apply the golden rule for food safety: "If In Doubt, Throw It Out." Below are general food safety and cleaning tips from the government's food safety guidelines.
Food Safety Recommendations
Partial thawing and refreezing will reduce the quality of foods, particularly in fruits, vegetables and prepared foods.
Probably Safe To Refreeze
Foods that have partially thawed, if they still contain visible ice crystals.
Frozen food that has fully thawed.
Meats and meat products that have begun to spoil or have a questionable color or odor.
Ice cream or ice milk that has melted.
Canned foods if the can has bulges or is dented or rusted.
Canned Goods Tips
Canned goods should be edible as long as the can shows no sign of damage, rust or bulges.
Wash your canned and bottled goods in hot soapy water or disinfect the exterior in a solution of 3 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
If labels come off, be sure you mark the contents on the can or jar with a grease pencil.
Removing Odors From Your Refrigerator or Freezer
Wash inside with a solution of baking soda and water or use 1 cup of vinegar or household ammonia to 1 gallon or water
Put baking soda in an open container or a piece of charcoal to absorb odors in refrigerator or freezer
WHN Staff Tip: Doors
When cleaning or discarding any refrigerator or freezer, be sure the doors are removed or secured so that the door cannot close on a young child!
Here's a formula from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for using bleach to clean and disinfect water, pots, pans and containers.
If the water is clear, use 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water.
If the water is cloudy, use 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to each gallon of water.
Mix thoroughly and allow to stand at least 30 minutes before use.
For more information, download FEMA's Food and Water in an Emergency.
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