Stocking up at the grocery store is only half the battle when prepping for a winter storm. The other half is safely conserving everything you’ve stocked up on. Hank Lambert, CEO of PURE Bioscience, a company dedicated to health for food and consumer safety, shares his best tips on safely storing and preserving food if the power goes out during a winter storm:
- Keep appliance thermostats in both the refrigerator and freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe.
- Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm to help food keep cold.
- Freeze refrigerator items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately to keep them at safe temperatures longer.
- Group foods together in the freezer — this “igloo” effect helps the food stay cold longer.
- Don’t rely on putting food outside in ice or snow, because it can attract animals or thaw when the sun comes out.
- Place meat and poultry on opposite sides of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross-contamination of thawing juices.
- Do not open the refrigerator or freezer; a freezer that is half full will hold up to 24 hours and a full freezer for up to 48 hours. Instead, eat shelf-stable foods.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal and loves having an excuse to eat up all of her favorite pantry staples during the next blizzard. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.