Winter storms are in full swing and with them come significant power outages. This can cause food to spoil and some people are tempted to put their food in the snow to keep it cold. According to Yahoo! Life, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns people against this practice as it can be dangerous to consume food left in the snow.

Under the USDA’s FAQ page, there are two reasons why they advise against using snow to “refrigerate” food. Yahoo! Life lays them out for us saying the first reason is that the temperatures outside can change rapidly and the sun can thaw out frozen food items. The second reason is said to be because of the threat of animal bacteria and disease coming in contact with the food.

Yahoo! Life says that as an alternative, the USDA suggests making your own ice cubes or freezing ice packs and using those in your freezer or coolers to pack alongside the food. Yahoo! Life explains that meat, eggs, chicken, and fish should be stored at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and frozen food should be at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA also suggests keeping your fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible so that the temperature can stay steady for up to four hours.

As always, if you’re expecting a storm, it is always a good idea to purchase non-perishable food in the event that you do lose power, these items won’t require refrigeration to stay fresh.

 

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