Hurricane season food safety

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) Hurricane supplies consist of batteries, flashlights, and sandbags, but what happens to your food once the power goes out?

"If your refrigerator is kept close the food would stay good for only a short time, probably up to 4 hours,” said Professor Amy Simonne, Food Safety Expert.

University of Florida safety experts say there are steps you can take to protect your family from food borne illness.

One is to fill up a cup of water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, put a quarter on top.

"If the power goes off the ice in the container would melt and the quarter would drop,” said Professor Simonne.

Food at that point would not be safe to eat. Local business owners shared their own methods for saving food.

"If you have raw meat in your refrigerator and you want to save it the best thing you can do is pack it in a cooler, don't open lid for minimum time,” said Brian Hood, David's BBQ Founder and Partner.

Hood says fresh meats in a cooler will last 3 to 7 days if it is kept 40 degrees or below, so have a thermometer on hand with your hurricane supplies.

“So, if you have prediction of a hurricane coming you can make your own icepack, put water in some containers and put it in the freezer to prepare,” said Professor Simonne.

And, if your on the fence about what to do… Professor Simonne says "when in doubt, throw it out”.