In a recent survey performed, it was found that weather-related power outages are up by 67 percent since 2000. While the power cuts are unpredictable and can last longer than hours, it makes sense that you play safe and ensure the safety of your family or customers (for hotel owners), during the power outages. The reason for growing power outages is the growing need for electricity during extreme weather conditions.
If you are running a hotel and want to ensure the food safety of your customers, it is important to have a food handlers certificate. But if you want to ensure safe food handling at home during power outages, here are some tips you can follow to keep your food out of the Danger Zone:
Monitor Temperatures –
Temperature fluctuation is very common during electricity cuts, which is why it is important that you have a handy appliance thermometer kept in your refrigerator and freezer. This ensures that your food is kept at a safe weather temperature and you must keep your temperature at 40° F or below and the freezer at 0° F or below. During power outages, it is suggested that you avoid opening the doors of the refrigerator or freezer closed as this can result in massive temperature change.
Hour Window –
According to specialists in the appliance and food industry, a refrigerator is capable of keeping your food safe for up to 4 hours during a power outage, but only if you do not open the door. So, in case the electricity cut is longer than 4 hours, it is recommended that you discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers to avoid any kind of foodborne diseases.
When in Doubt, Throw it Out –
If you have a professional food handlers certificate, you would already know that you must trust your senses about the food safety of others. This is why it is very important to do a ‘smell test’ before cooking a food item that is kept in your refrigerator during the electricity outage. Evaluate each item separately by using this chart as a guide.
Plan Ahead –
Just like any other business, it is very important for hotel owners or food handlers to take preventive measures to ensure safe food handling. If you are living in a place where electricity outages are common, it is recommended to obtain dry ice or block ice to prevent foodborne diseases. According to specialists, fifty pounds of dry ice can hold an 18-cubic-foot freezer for 2 days. So make sure to keep things ready to prevent any kind of loss due to a power cut incident.
As a business owner in the food industry, it is important that you take extra preventive measures for the safety of your customers, which is why it is recommended to have certified food handlers in the team who know how to handle food well.