Food Waste Friday: Lost in the Storm

by Elizabeth on September 9, 2011 · 8 comments

in Food Waste Friday

This past Labor Day, while my family and I were at the beach, Tropical Storm Lee blew through Alabama and dropped a crap-ton of water on my hometown.  Que flooding, power outages, and downed trees.  I think I lost my power sometime Monday and it was still off when we returned on Tuesday afternoon.  It finally blinked back on around 5:30.

The very first thing I did when I got home was open the freezer and assure myself that all my meat was still frozen (it was) so I didn’t lose anything in my freezer, and while I had taken most of the stuff in the fridge that would have spoiled (milk, mayo, cheese), I still lost about a 1 cup of buttermilk and a cup or two of heavy cream.  The refrigerator was basically room temperature when I checked it, so I played it safe and tossed the cream and buttermilk.

I also had some eggs in there.  How long do eggs last without being refrigerated?  I haven’t cracked one so I don’t know if they are still good.  Should I throw them out?  Or are they okay?

This post is linked to Food Waste Friday

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine September 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

they might still be ok for baking. but i would crack them in a separate bowl and give them a sniff before tossing them in to be sure.

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2 Andria September 9, 2011 at 10:06 am

Toss ’em:
“When the refrigerator is operating again, use these guidelines to decide what to do with foods that were stored in the refrigerator:

* Throw away leftovers and perishable foods that have been held above 40o F for more than 2 hours, including meats, poultry, fish, seafood, lunch meats, hot dogs, milk, cream, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, soft cheeses, soy milk and eggs.
* Hard cheese and processed cheese will be okay. Well-wrapped butter and margarine can usually be kept as long as they do not melt; discard if rancid odors develop.
*

Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, relishes, piquant sauce, oil and vinegar-based salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauces should be fine. The acid in them is a natural preservative. Jams, jellies, preserves and syrups are all right, too, because sugar is a preservative. Check for mold growth. Discard opened mayonnaise, horseradish and tartar sauce if held above 50o F for more than 8 hours.
*

Discard milk, cream, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, soy milk and eggs if held above 40o F for more than 2 hours. Whole fresh fruits, dried fruits, opened fruit juices and fresh vegetables are safe as long as they’re still firm and there’s no evidence of mold, a yeasty smell or sliminess, but discard cut fruits; precut, prewashed packaged greens and opened vegetable juices if held above 40o F for more than 2 hours.”

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/family_home/hazards_and_threats/power_outage/play+it+safe+with+food+after+a+power+outage.htm

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3 Megg September 9, 2011 at 10:35 am

Wow, 400 F is VERY hot. I’m pretty sure even in Alabama it didn’t get THAT hot!

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4 Elizabeth September 9, 2011 at 11:05 am

I *think* Andria meant 40 and 50 degrees if I’m not mistaken. Perhaps that extra zero was meant to be a degree sign?

And this is excellent advice – thanks!

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5 Andria September 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

I just copied and pasted! But yes, that is most certainly a typo 🙂

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6 Megg September 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

I know someone who had chickens, and they kept the eggs on the counter. Another person that I met working at Wal-mart said they’re OK out. Way back when they left them out too (of course they also died at like, 30).
If you’re not sure though, best to toss them.

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7 Sira September 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

In Europe, eggs aren’t even refrigerated in grocery stores. You will be absolutely fine. The American obsession with keeping eggs ice cold has no scientific basis, it’s just a habit.

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8 Elizabeth September 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm

In case anyone was curious, I cracked two eggs today and they were both fine! I doubt I’ll risk it again next time, but I just really wasn’t prepared to throw out 7 eggs.

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