With thousands of households in Bethany and Woodbridge without power, it is important to take precaution with food that has spoiled or water that has been contaminated. The Connecticut Department of Public Health is providing the following tips to stay healthy in the aftermath of this rare October storm:
When the Power Goes Out
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
- The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
- A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.
- For infants, try to use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. When using concentrated or powdered formulas, prepare with bottled water if the local water source is potentially contaminated.
Once Power is Restored
- 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 should be safe as long as 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.
Carbon Monoxide Concern
At a press conference this morning, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy warned of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur for a number of reasons – such as bringing propane or cooking grills inside or improper use of generators. No deaths have occurred but carbon monoxide-related medical calls have been reported, he noted.
Malloy said those concerns are one of the reasons he is urging towns to make warming centers and shelters available to residents to deter them from creating dangerous conditions inside their homes.
"Carbon monoxide may be our biggest enemy at the moment," he said.
Stay Warm: The if you need a place to stay warm.