- Purchase or locate thermometers. Place a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer; have a tip-sensitive digital thermometer ready to check food temperatures. Foods that can support the growth of pathogens (like cooked vegetables, cooked and raw meats, melons, sliced tomatoes) are riskier after being held above 41F for more than 4 hours.
- Check stock of refrigerator. Purchase or prepare food items that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on an outdoor grill. Foods to consider include: Dry Foods (i.e., bread, crackers, granola bars, cold cereal nuts & seeds, jerky, powdered milk, snack puddings, nut butters), Shelf stable canned, pouched or boxed food (i.e., fruits and vegetables, tuna, chicken, salmon, pork and beans) and produce (i.e., carrots, peppers, apples, bananas, oranges, and other fresh fruit).
- Store or purchase water in case water systems are impacted resulting in boil water advisories. Use bottled/clean water for everything from brushing teeth to cooking.
- Prepare coolers and purchase ice and dry ice. Use dry ice to extend the amount of time food stays below 41F. Freeze containers of water for ice or purchase ice.
For more information visit the Food Safety site or contact N.C. Cooperative Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, Hayley Cowell at 704-983-3987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.