The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
With Sandy wreaking havoc on Long Island, here are some guidelines for keeping food safe over the next 72 hours, or until power is restored. For more information, click on this link to the USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service: http://ow.ly/eQYxv
LAST MINUTE ADVICE BEFORE YOU LOSE POWER
IF YOU LOSE POWER
But take these foods out first: There are probably a number of items in your refrigerator that do not require refrigeration. As soon as the power goes off, open the door once and take out these foods that can be safely held for a few days at room temperature: Butter and margarine, hard and processed cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, pasteurized fruit juices, dried fruits, breads, cakes (except cream cheese, frosted or cream-filled), open jars of vinegar-based salad dressings, jams, mustard, ketchup and peanut butter.
AFTER THE POWER COMES BACK ON
Check your refrigerator: If a thermometer reads 40 degrees or below, the food is safe. Discard the following foods if kept for more than two hours above 40 degrees: raw or cooked meat, lunch meats, poultry, seafood, casseroles, stews, soups, milk, cream, yogurt, soft cheeses, eggs, cooked pastas and potatoes, rice (and salads prepared from eggs, pasta, potatoes or rice), mayonnaise, creamy dressings and pastries or pies made with cream, cheese or custard.
Check your freezer: If the temperature never got above freezing (32 degrees), the food is OK. If you dont have a thermometer, assess the food: In general, if it still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated, it is safe to refreeze -- though the texture may be compromised. Exception: Discard any ice cream or frozen yogurt that has softened.