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Appliantology Newsletter
Hurricane and Flood Related Refrigerator Tips
  October 29, 2012
 
Presents a Special Hurricane Sandy edition of
 
Special Hurricane Sandy Edition of Appliantology
With Hurricane Sandy taking aim and large population centers on the East Coast, it seemed like a good time to send this information from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
 
We practice basic safe food handling in our daily lives, but obtaining and storing food safely becomes more challenging during a power outage or natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. 
Steps to Follow to Prepare for a Possible Weather Emergency:
Keep an appliance thermometer, such as this one, in the refrigerator and freezer.  An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.
 
Make sure the freezer is at 0 °F (Fahrenheit) or below and the refrigerator is at 40 °F or below.
 
Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out.
 
Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately-this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
 
Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
 
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
Group food together in the freezer—this helps the food stay cold longer.
 
Steps to Follow During and After the Weather Emergency:
Never taste a food to determine its safety!
 
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
 
The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
 
Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
 
If the power has been out for several days, then check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below, the food is safe.
 
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, then check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.
 
Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.
 
When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
 
Other Tools to Help Deal with Weather Emergency-Related Appliance Problems
Combustible Gas Leak Detector
Smelling Gas?  Find out for sure with this inexpensive gas sniffer.  Works with both LP and natural gas.  

Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Test for voltage without touching any bare wires. This non-contact detector works by sensing voltage through the wire’s insulation. Detector has an audible beeper and visible flashing light indicator.

240v Outlet Checker
Electric oven or electric dryer not heating?  It may be a problem with the 240v supply.  Find out for sure with this 240 Volt outlet checker for checking the outlets on electric ranges and dryers.  Includes two checkers, one for each type of outlet. 

Stay safe, be well!  
Samurai Appliance Repair Man, www.Appliantology.org

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