Weather conditions in the US were so bad that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has postponed a trip to Washington to meet President Donald Trump.
With schools closed and thousands of flights cancelled, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has offered meat traders some tips to prepare for a weather emergency.
During snow and ice storms
• Do not put meat, poultry, fish or dairy products out in the snow. Instead, make ice by filling buckets with water and leaving it outside to freeze. This ice can be used to keep meat chilled.
What about if the power goes out?
• Keep fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A fridge will keep food cold for four hours, a freezer will hold its temperature for 48 hours if full, this drops to 24 hours if half-full.
• Put meat and poultry to one side of the freezer to prevent cross-contamination with thawing juices.
• Blocks of ice (remember the ones you got from that bucket) can be used to keep fridges cold during an extended power outage.
What about a full-blown weather emergency?
• Check the temperature of the fridge and freezer. Bin meat, poultry and seafood that has been above 40°F for over two hours.
• Discard any food that smells or looks funny and is warm to the touch
• Never eat food to check if it’s safe to eat.