SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) rolled out its Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) in 34 counties in California, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a guide on how residents can keep their food safe while the power is out.
According to its guide, the USDA said meat, poultry, fish, and eggs need to be kept either at or below 40 degrees. Frozen foods should be at or below zero degrees.
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The USDA said to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain safe temperatures. A full freezer will hold safe temperatures for about 48 hours [24 hours if the freezer is half full] if the doors are closed, according to USDA.
The USDA suggests using dry ice to maintain temperatures if the power is expected to remain off for long periods. The agency said 50 pounds of dry ice could keep an 18-cubic foot full freezer for two days.
Digital, dial or instant-read food thermometers and appliance thermometers could be used to make sure your food is safe, according to USDA.
Refrigerator and freezer thermometers will still monitor the temperature inside even if the power is out. However, if you feel like you're not sure the temperature is safe, USDA suggests using a food thermometer, as previously mentioned.
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