In light of Friday's storms that caused power outages across Maryland—with many homes still without electricity—Landover-based Giant Food officials are offering food safety tips for those still affected by the storm.
The company was hit hard by power outages as well, with 70 of the chain's 173 stores affected by loss of electricity, according to a statement from the company.
All 173 stores remained open to serve customers, thanks to generator power, officials said.
Store officials offer the following tips regarding food in refrigerators and freezers without power:
- Never taste food nor rely on odor or appearance to determine its safety.
- Discard refrigerated perishable food items including meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.
- If opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish and other spreads have been held at or above 50 degrees for more than four hours, throw them away. Also discard any salads or food items prepared with these ingredients that have been held at or above 50 degrees for more than four hours.
- If food in a freezer still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below, the food is safe to cook or refreeze.
- If the power has been out more than 48 hours, food stored in a freezer should be thrown away.
Consumers with questions are encouraged to call the following food safety hotlines:
The Food and Drug Administration's Safe Food Information Line: 888-723-3366
The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 800-535-4555