The Shelf Life Advice Quick Reference Guide has answers about refrigerated unopened and opened foods. To receive your copy, type your email address in the box below and click "Sign Up".

How To Protect Your Food During a Power Outage

Hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and earthquakes are often predicted, while earthquakes  and tornadoes may take us by surprise.  Any of these weather-related disrupters can leave us without power and clean water.  Any of these can be a threat to our perishable refrigerated and frozen foods, our shelf-stable foods, and the water we need for drinking, cooking, and washing. 

 

The disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy encouraged us to pull together the following collection of tips about preparing for bad weather and handling food during bad weather.  It  suggests items to have in your home at all times, items to rush out and buy when weather-related trouble is imminent,  and steps to take while one of these incidents is in progress.  Our site's Advisory Board scientists made many contributions to this article.  

 

I Left It Out Too Long! Can I Still Eat It?

cantaloupeFunny thing, but almost every question we get from our site members is a variation of the same question.  Optimists phrase it positively: “Can I still eat it?”  Pessimists ask, “Do I have to throw it out?”  In either case, it’s a query about food that has been kept too long in the “danger zone” (40°F-140°F), in other words, a perishable food that hasn’t been kept hot enough or cold enough to prevent bacterial growth. No one wants to discard food that cost a lot and/or took a long time to prepare.  So we did some research and asked two food scientists on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board to provide specific and general answers to “Is it really spoiled?” questions.

Winter Food Storage—Can I leave It in the Car or in the Garage?

Food in CarSummer heat is riskier than winter chill in terms of food contamination, but  winter presents its own challenges for food spoilage or pathogen growth.  Let’s consider some typical winter situations involving food storage.

Sudden, Awful Intestinal Distress--Is it the Flu or a Foodborne Illness--or Both?

flu"Was it a bug or something I ate?" victims often wonder as they run repeatedly to the bathroom. But this is not really an either/or matter. There's a lot of overlapping of these categories. What we commonly call "stomach flu" is usually caused by the norovirus. This winter season, there's a particularly nasty strain of it spreading rapidly throughout the country.  It's easily contracted, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) from an infected person, food or water, or even contaminated objects.  It can come from a friend's sneeze (or kiss), salad, or, often, a public washroom doorknob.  But this highly contagious condition is different from the intestinal discomfort caused by eating food that has become contaminated due to mishandling.  The latter is not contagious, not transferable from person to person.

Syndicate content
 
 

You must be logged in to post a comment or question.

Sign In or Register for free.