Power outage food safety tips

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Yesenia Benjamin
  • 66th Medical Squadron Public Health

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – According to officials from Hanscom’s Public Health Office, refrigerated or frozen foods may not be safe to eat after the loss of power.

To avoid anyone potentially getting sick, officials recommend personnel review items in their refrigerator and freezer after a power outage, following the guidelines below.

  • Never taste food to determine if it is safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Throw out perishable food such as cut fruits, milk, meat and fish after four hours without power.
  • Throw out any food with an unusual color (i.e., turning green or gray) or unusual smell.
  • Throw out food that is or went above 40 degrees Fahrenheit during a power outage.
  • Do not refreeze completely thawed food that was meant to stay frozen.

Improper storing, cooking, and serving of potentially unsafe foods can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause food-borne illnesses.

For further information, contact the Public Health Office at 781-225-6295.  

Additional information is available at www.cdc.gov under the Food Safety Home Page and at https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage.