Did you know that aside from heat and darkness, load shedding and electricity interruption can also bring a serious threat to food safety? A knowledge of how to determine if food is still safe after the power is restored, and of how to keep food safe during blackouts will aid in minimizing the potential wastage of food and in reducing the risk of exposure to food-borne illnesses. Below, we present to you a run-down of boxes you have to tick to keep food safe during an electricity outage.
- Under normal circumstances, meat, poultry, fish and eggs should be refrigerated at or below 40°F (4.4°C), and frozen food at or below 0°F (-17.8°C). Though this may be difficult during times when power is out, there are ways to work around the effects of electricity interruption.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator is observed to keep food safely cold for about four hours it is left unopened.
- A full freezer is shown to be able to hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours if the door remains closed.
- When the freezer is not full, you can keep items close together to make the food stay cold longer.
- If you have an idea that a power outage is coming, you should obtain dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during the blackout. Fifty lbs. of dry ice is observed to be able to hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for two days.
- Coolers can prove to be a great help for keeping food cold. It is advisable to have some coolers ready, along with frozen gel packs.
Load shedding is always expected to cause inconvenience, like food spoilage and wastage, wherever and whenever it is applied. But the truth is, it is a necessary procedure to avoid overloading electrical systems, which can result in a total blackout. An advisable way to preclude the disastrous effects of load shedding and power outages in homes and industrial & commercial sites is to hire the services of temporary power providers.
In times when a spike in power demand is expected, utility companies can invite mobile generator service providers on board to support the increase in electricity requirements. With the help of rental gensets, overloading of permanent power generation systems can be avoided, hence, load shedding will be unnecessary.
On the other hand, in instances of unforeseen power outages, utilizing temporary power plants will help restore electricity at the soonest possible time while waiting for the problem to be resolved. In this way, residents will not suffer the consequences of prolonged power interruptions, and businesses and industrial operations will not face sizable financial losses.
Being proactive is key
Be it at home, in the office or in the premises of utility companies, anticipation is vital in mitigating the effects of planned or unexpected power interruptions. From ensuring that food is safe and that cellphones are fully charged, to taking steps in bridging the power gap and reestablishing the supply of electricity, foresight and preparedness play an indispensable role.
To quote Stephen Covey, the world-renowned author of the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
“Look at the word responsibility—“response-ability”—the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.”
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