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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.|
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From the Office of the Governor:
The Department of Health and Senior Services urges all residents to throw away any food that may have come in contact with flood or storm waters and individuals that have suffered power outages should keep their refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
"Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O'Dowd.
Commissioner O'Dowd urged all residents to dispose of any perishable food that may have been above 40 degrees for two hours or more. Food will stay cold in the refrigerator for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. However, food above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more must be discarded.
Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees or below can be refrozen or cooked. If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish or eggs while it is still at safe temperatures, it's important that each item is thoroughly cooked to the proper temperature to assure that any foodborne bacteria that may be present is destroyed.
Information about municipalities that have issued boiled water advisories as well as instructions for safely boiling water for drinking can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/dhss/njnewsline/view_article.pl?id=3766
Below are some additional food safety tips to prevent illness during power outages, flooding and hurricane conditions:
Once Power is Restored . . .
You'll need to determine the safety of your food. Here's how:
For additional information on food safety and power outages, please visit http://www.nj.gov/health/er/natural.shtml and http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/recovery.asp.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360