Doctors say when in doubt, throw old food out

Health News

(WYTV) – When in doubt, throw it out.

Easy to say but, really, what can you eat if the power’s been out at your house for a while?

Now you have a refrigerator full of question marks. Once the temperature goes up, viruses and bacteria find a cozy home. Doctors say to play it safe and take no chances.

“If it doesn’t look right, if it doesn’t smell right, don’t do it. Don’t eat it,” said Dr. Baruch Fertel, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Don’t take chances. Perishable items, things like meat, dairy products, cut up fruit and leftovers – if the power’s out, throw it out.”

The Food and Drug Administration tells us our food is safe in a closed refrigerator for about four hours after the power goes out. You can keep food safely up to 24 hours in a half-full freezer, and 48 hours in a full freezer, providing you don’t open it. You can refreeze foods if they have icicles, or are 40 degrees or less.

Keep in mind: the very old and the very young are most at risk for complications from a food borne illness.

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