When In Doubt, Throw It Out

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Hawaii Sate Department of Health Advisory makes the following recommendations regarding food safety during and after power outages.

In newer refrigerators that were not opened during the outage, foods should still be safe to use after four hours. It is difficult to make an assessment on how long foods will stay safe in older refrigerators or ones that were opened. An accurate food thermometer can determine if food falls in a safe zone - 45 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

Be sure to discard any food that has an off-color or order, or food that has warmed to room temperature for an unknown period of time.  In any case, when in doubt throw it out.

Here are some guidelines for various types of food:

  • Milk and other dairy products should be discarded after power is out for more than four hours.
  • Fresh poultry, meats, cold cuts, hot dogs and other perishables should be discarded or eaten if approaches room temperature.
  • Eggs are safe for two days is shells are intact.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are safe as long as they are not slimy.
  • Hard cheeses, butter, margarine are safe unless mold or rancidity develop.
  • Mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, commercially prepared dressings, jellies, jams, relishes, ketchup, mustard and pickles may be left unrefrigerated unless they have been contaminated with poultry, fish or meat products.