When in Doubt, Toss it Out: Food Safety Tips After Irma


“Food is our common ground. A universal experience.” – James Beard

We did it and came through the other side of Hurricane Irma.

Now’s the time to do this:

1) Toss everything in your fridge if you were without power for 36-48 hours. Here are the rules on what you can keep. As always, when in doubt, throw it out. Always.

2) If you saved some frozen foods in your cooler and they are all thawed, toss those, too. Then wipe down your fridge and freezer well, and if you’re still without power (like me!), prop the fridge doors open until the power returns. Be sure to block open the doors, especially with kids or pets, so nobody climbs in there and has the doors swing shut. Propping open the doors will help you avoid mold/mildew inside the fridge.

3) See our constantly updated list of restaurants that are open. Take yourself and your family to AC. It does wonders for body and soul.

4) If you have access to the internet and social media, keep an eye out for restaurant specials aimed at those without power. Some are offering free coffee, drinks or food to folks in affected areas. There are a lot of food and drink specials now, and these are Irma-related, not just the usual September specials. Some specials also pay it forward, with a portion of the profits going to hurricane relief efforts. Try and patronize those venues!

5) Be patient. Be kind. Help each other and break bread together. As James Beard said, it’s a universal experience.