As Norwalkers assess the damage from Tropical Storm Isaias, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind.
Food Safety: When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
If you lost power in your home, use these guidelines to tell if your food is safe to eat.
- The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours, as long as the door was kept closed. If your freezer was fully packed, it will keep food safely cold for 2 days. If your freezer was only half full, it will keep food safe for 1 day.
- Throw out any raw or cooked meat, poultry, seafood, milk and dairy products, cooked vegetables, eggs, cooked pasta and pasta salads that were kept above 40 degrees F for 2 hours or more.
- You can keep some foods at room temperature for a few days: butter, margarine, dried fruits, salad dressings, peanut butter, jelly, barbecue sauce, mustard, ketchup, olives, hard and processed cheese, and bread.
Power Outages and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Use portable generators and propane appliances with extreme caution. If used incorrectly, these machines can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock, and fire.
- If you are using a generator, place it at least 20 feet from your home and away from neighbors’ homes, windows, doors and vents.
- Never operate a generator indoors or inside of a garage, basement, or on a porch.
- DO NOT use charcoal or gas grills, gas lanterns or camping stoves indoors.
- Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness and confusion.
- If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911.
Questions about food safety? Call the Norwalk Health Department: (203) 854-7776.
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