MONTE VISTA -- In response to the extended power outages associated with the West Fork Fire Complex, SLVREC has de-energized some power lines.
When extended power outages occur, SLVREC offers this advice on food safety.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. Refrigerators will keep food cold for about 4 hours if unopened.
Full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 48 hours. Partially full freezers will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.
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 food-borne bacteria that may be present is destroyed.
However, if at any point the food was above 40 °F for 2 hours or more—discard it.
When power is restored, you will need to determine the safety of your food. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.
If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.
Refrigerated food is safe if the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut.
Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Keep in mind that 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.
More information on food safety can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm076881.htm.
SLVREC can be reached at 719-852-3538 or 800-332-7634. Alternatively, member services can be contacted via email: email@example.com. The cooperative is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday; however, calls are accepted 24/7 by live operators.