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DC Department of Health Reminds Residents of Food Safety

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Residents affected by the power outage should dispose of all refrigerated foods.

(Washington, DC) – With power outages that left portions of Northeast DC without power for the past 40+ hours, the DC Department of Health (DOH) encourages residents affected by the power outage to throw out all foods in their refrigerators.  Due to the prolonged period of time without proper refrigeration for foods, DOH advises residents to discard all foods and medications stored in the refrigerator.  The loss of proper refrigeration has jeopardized the safety of foods and medicines that require refrigeration, thus making them improper and unsafe to consume, or put back into the refrigerator when power is completely restored. 

At this time residents affected by the power outage are advised to do the following:

  • Throw away all food in the refrigerator
  • Throw away all medications that are stored in the refrigerator
  • Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula
  • Clean out refrigerators
  • Keep refrigerator doors closed

For more information on food safety during an emergency, call 311 or visit