Thousands of Tri-State residents lost power Sunday night after strong storms hit the area.
Power outages from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, but consumers can take steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness.
The Cincinnati Health Department provided these tips on keeping food safe after a power outage.
Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours, according to the health department. Keep the door closed as much as possible.
Once the Power is Restored:
Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more.
Identify and discard potentially hazardous foods that may have been above 41°F or below 140°F for 4 or more hours or above 45°F for any length of time. Potentially hazardous foods are those high in protein (meats, eggs, dairy) and cooked vegetables.
What To Discard
The following foods in refrigerators and freezers should be discarded if kept over 4 hours at above 41°F, or if the temperature exceeds 45°F for any length of time.
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and egg substitutes (raw or cooked)
Milk, cream and soft cheese
Casseroles, stews or soups
Lunch meats and hot dogs
Creamy-based foods made on-site
Custard, chiffon, pumpkin or cheese pies
Cookie dough made with eggs
What To Save
The following foods may be kept at room temperature a few days, although food quality may be affected.
Butter or margarine
Hard and processed cheeses
Fresh uncut fruits and vegetables
Dried fruits and coconut
Opened jars of vinegar-based salad dressings, jelly, relish, taco sauce, barbecue
sauce, mustard, ketchup, olives and peanut butter
Fresh herbs and spices
Fruit pies, breads, rolls, and muffins
Cakes, except cream cheese frosted or cream-filled