Tips for keeping cool and handling food

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Local health officials are reminding residents about how to handle food during power outages.

Hamilton County Public Health is offering food safety tips and says if power has been out in your home; do not open your refrigerator or freezer. Food will be kept cool for four hours without power in a combination refrigerator/freezer if kept closed. Upright or chest freezers will keep food frozen for 48 hours if it's full or for 24 hours if it's half full.

"Never taste food to determine if it's safe. Your health is not worth the risk," said Health Commissioner Tim Ingram. "When in doubt, throw it out."

Perishable food such as meat and dairy is not safe to eat if power has been out for longer than four hours. Food can be checked with a thermometer, if the food is more than 41 degrees, it should be thrown away.

The Clermont General Health District is encouraging people to drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids, eat light meals and wear loose light clothing. It is also recommended to cool off with cool showers or baths. Keeping a close watch on elderly friends is neighbors is also important in the hot conditions. People experiencing heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting should be moved to a cool shady area and given cold, non-alcoholic drinks.

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