By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Numerous homes and business in the West Cajon Valley experienced a power outage during the Blue Cut Fire. Environmental Health Services is warning residents about the possibility of food and food-related illnesses when there is a power outage that lasts longer than three hours.
A refrigerator should keep foods cold for approximately four to six hours depending on the temperature outside the refrigerator and frequency of the refrigerator door opening. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A large freezer may maintain foods frozen for approximately two days. In the case of a natural disaster where power may be out for greater than one day, meats, milk, and poultry may be placed in the freezer to extend shelf life.
All frozen perishable foods that have ice crystals (semi-frozen) may be refrozen and are safe for consumption. If the freezer food has thawed, then each food item should be evaluated to determine if it reached a temperature greater than 41 degrees for longer than two hours. When in doubt, throw it out.
Once the power is restored, open the refrigerator and freezer to check the inside temperatures and take the following actions:
- If the power was out for less than four hours, refrigerated and freezer food items should be safe.
- If the power was out for more than four hours, all refrigerated perishable food items (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) should be discarded if the temperature is above 41 degrees for greater than a two-hour period of time. When in doubt, discard any questionable food items. It is better to be cautious than risk illness.
Two dumpsters for food spoilage only will be located at USFS Ranger Station at Mormon Rocks, 7601 Hwy 138 in Phelan today from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information contact San Bernardino County, Environmental Health Services at
1-800-442-2283 or visit the website at www.sbcounty.gov/dehs.