News Release
June 24, 2013

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MDH and MDA offer tips for handling foods following power outage

Foods that lose refrigeration for more than four hours can pose risk of illness

Following the recent power outages, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are reminding consumers and food businesses to discard any refrigerated and frozen foods that may have lost refrigeration for more than 4 hours.
Consumers should remember:

    • Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible to keep the cold air inside the unit.
    • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more.
    • If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can't rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.

    Food Establishments are reminded to:

Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications

Margaret Hart
MDA Communications