Category Archives: Kitchen & Garage

Some Food Safety Rules

The USDA has compiled a list of tips to help you sort through what is safe to eat in order to avoid food poisoning and other foodborne illnesses in the event of a power outage.

The top three things to remember are:

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs should stay at or below 40 degrees F and frozen food should remain below 0 degrees F. (duh)

  • If you keep your refrigerator, you will be able to keep your food cold for up to four hours. A full freezer will keep its temperature for at least 48 hours if full, 24 hours if half full.
  • Putting food together in your fridge and freezer can help keep it cold, theFDA points out.
  • The FDA also said coolers can help keep refrigerated food keep cold once the power cuts out.
  • Make or buy dry or block ice while you can. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18-cubic foot full freezer for two days.
  • You’ll have to discard most foods in your fridge, but hard cheeses — including Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano – butter or margarine; opened fruit juices; opened can fruits; Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates; most spreads that do not include milk products; breads; pies; and raw vegetables may be safe even if not kept cold. For a full list of foods, check out’s list .
  • If the item has ice crystals and feels as cold as it had been refrigerated, you can refreeze hard cheeses; breads, rolls, muffins, cakes without custard fillings; fruit juice; vegetable juice; cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling; casseroles – pasta, rice based; flour, cornmeal, nuts; breakfast items including waffles, pancakes, bagels; and frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods). However, most food will have to be thrown out if it has thawed for over two hours and is over 40 degrees F. A checklist can be found at .

Stock up on foods that can be eaten cold or heated with a gas stove.

  • Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should all be safe to eat in case of an emergency.
  • Have a stock of ready-to-use baby formula and pet food if you need it

Food tainted by flood water, which contains bacteria, is not safe

  • Throw away any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is a possibility it touched flood water. This includes screw-cap bottles, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Food in cardboard boxes are not safe.
  • Any cans that are swollen, leaking, punctured, rusted or crushed so badly they cannot be stacked should also be discarded.
  • Remove labels on cans that are waterproof because they can contain dirt and bacteria.
  • Wash all the cans with soap and water. Hot water is best if available. If possible, place them in boiling water for two minutes or a solution made from 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach to one gallon of drinking water for 15 minutes. Air dry cans for at least 1 hour before opening or storing them. Use salvaged food as soon as possible, and mark which cans were cleaned and sanitized with a pen

Hurricane Sandy: Prepare with Beer

Downsider? Ya think?

What’s In Your Go Bag?

I have several of these little go bags in my home office and a few in my truck. This one has a water purification kit, a bunch of painkillers, some carabiners and rope. There’s also a pencil box with all kinds of writing utensils, a small ‘Guppy‘ utility knife. There’s a magnifying glass, fingernail clippers and of course, honey roasted peanuts.  Now that I think of it, it’s kind of a miniature bank. If you’re evacuated to the local gymnasium, this kind of stuff will come in handy, and none of it is so heavy that you’d mind carrying it a walked mile or three. I know that in my other one that’s this size, I’ve got some cigarettes and a lighter as well as chapstick and q-tips. I’ve also got a bag of those plackers dental floss picks.

We covered go bags at my other blog and I’ll bring that content over here. As well, we’ll put together something for the wiki once I get that setup.  What kind of go bags do you have and what’s the scenario you’re planning for?