Why you should always keep money in your freezer.


Storms and power outages are synonymous in Florida, especially during the spring and summer.

When the power goes out, refrigerator temperatures can fluctuate, causing bacteria to multiply and making for unsafe conditions for food. While foodborne illness is serious, it is very preventable.

During the 2016 hurricane season, a social media post went viral when a woman from South Carolina came up with a clever idea for those who might have to evacuate their homes. Take a cup of water and place it in the freezer. When the water turns to ice, drop a quarter on top. If you are away from your home and a power outage occurs, this will help you know how long food in the refrigerator may have been compromised.

With the cup trick, you’ll be able to see if ice has melted by how far the quarter has dropped in the cup before being frozen again when the power comes back on. If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup, it means your food could have fully defrosted, thus becoming vulnerable, and should be discarded. If the quarter is found midway, your food may still be safe to eat. If you feel unsure, it’s always best to throw it out.

A common rule to avoid food poisoning is to make sure to keep your foods out of the danger zone. Refrigerate all foods within two hours or one hour if it is over 90°F outside, and before eating reheat to a safe minimum internal temperature. Refrigerated food should be safe if the power out for no more than four hours. If you happen to be home, keep the door closed as much as possible. Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.

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