The past few weeks have brought north central North Dakota a variety of challenges, both in power outages and flood watches.
Following each disaster, similar precautions must be taken to be sure the food you have in your home is safe to eat.
Discard the following foods if your refrigerator's tempera- ture happens to rise above 40 degrees F for two hours or longer:
Gail Slinde is a food safety and youth development agent for the NDSU Extension Service in Ward County.
+ Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood and soy meat substitutes
+ Tuna, shrimp, chicken or egg salad
+ Gravy, stuffing and broth
+ Pizza with any toppings
+ Canned meats which have been opened
+ Any soft cheeses like blue, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage and cream cheese
+ Shredded and low-fat cheeses
+ Dairy products like milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt and soy milk
+ Fresh eggs, hard-cooked eggs and egg dishes
+ Custards and puddings
+ Cooked casseroles, soups, pasta, rice, potatoes and stews
+ Cut up fresh fruit and pasta salads
+ Custard pies and pastries
+ Pre-cut and packaged salad greens
+ Cooked vegetables, including potatoes and potato salad
Foods from your freezer may be safe if the package still contains ice crystals or feels cold as if refrigerated, in which case:
+ Beef, pork, poultry, ground meats, casseroles and fish or seafood may be refrozen, although they may lose some quality and flavor
+ Soft and semi-soft cheeses, hard cheeses, shredded cheeses, casseroles and egg products, fruit and vegetables juices, breads, flour, cornmeal, nuts and breakfast items like waffles or bagels, and home- and commercially packaged foods may be refrozen, although they could suffer texture and flavor loss.
Disaster education information about food is available at your county Extension office or on the Web at (www.ag.ndsu.edu/ndsuag/home).