Tuesday, October 30, 2012

EATING SAFELY WITHOUT ELECTRICITY

Yes, I should have written this before. But, better late than never. Here are my thoughts on how you can eat reasonably well and avoid food poisoning if a superstorm or hurricane like Sandy decides to arrive in your area.

First, to be prepared, assume that you will have power outages, and, may have no potable water. Secondly, assume that restaurants in your area may be closed, or, if they are operating, may not be the safest places to eat. So, it's up to you.

Here are some things you may want to buy: a cooler and ice packs, an appliance thermometer (to check the frig temperature) - and if you have electric cooking appliances - a good thermos and a small camp stove (you can get a one-burner stove for less than $20). Also make sure you have tin foil and a working can opener (if you don't usually eat out of cans), as well as matches for lighting the stove.

As for food, choose food and drink that does not have to be refrigerated - at least for a few days - and is quick to cook or can be eaten uncooked. For instance: lots of bottled water, single-pack/small tin juices, tinned milk, energy bars or fiber bars that appeal to you, fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, bananas, pineapple, lemons, avocados. Vegetables that keep well, and that you can eat raw, such as carrots, celery, cabbage, cauliflower. Canned chicken, tuna, sardines, meat, tinned cheese (if you can find it), beans and soups (if you can warm them up). And then there are also those good things such as nuts, raisins, dried figs and other fruit and...of course, chocolate (personally, I can't live without it. You may need something nice and comforting during that nasty storm, and they will also give you quick energy. And don't forget your pet's food.

If you know that the storm is a few hours away, you may want to quickly roast a chicken or cook some other dish that will keep a few hours to the next meal, freeze your ice packs, turn the refrigerator down to about 35 degrees so it gets extra cold and can stay that way longer after a power outage, fill the thermos with hot coffee, hot chocolate (or, whatever you like), and batten down the hatches.

And final advice - if food looks off, don't eat it (also read my previous post). It's better to go hungry.

To your good health,
TSF

No comments: