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Food Preservation an Important Part of Storm Preparations

Actions Taken Before a Storm Can Help Reduce Losses

BATON ROUGE – With a potential for tropical storm-force winds and flooding from Cristobal this weekend, the Department of Children and Family Services encourages Louisiana residents to take steps now to minimize the risk of food loss due to the storm.

Before Storm

To maximize the longevity and safety of their food, residents should take the following steps, as recommended by*:

  • Stock the pantry with foods that require no refrigeration and can be stored for a long time without spoiling;
  • Store food and bottled water on shelves that will be safely out of the way of potential floodwaters;
  • Make sure freezers and refrigerators have appliance thermometers, and set the freezer at or below 0°F and the refrigerator at or below 40°F;
  • Store ice cubes, gel packs or water containers in the freezer, for later use in the refrigerator or cooler, should there be a power outage of 4 hours or more;
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that may not be needed right away to keep them at a safe temperature longer; and
  • Group food together in the freezer to help it stay cold longer.

During Storm

If the power goes out, keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible to maintain their cold temperatures. An unopened and full freezer can keep food cold for 48 hours, while an unopened refrigerator can keep food cold for about 4 hours.

For more information about what food items are safe to eat after a storm that included power loss or flooding, visit

* is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides food safety information through partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


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