2WTK Answers Your Storm Related Questions: Food, Spoilage & Payment

GREENSBORO, NC -- You're asking 2WTK all kinds of storm related questions.we picked two food related questions to start out the week.

Conni asks, "I was told by a friend that Duke Energy is required to help people replace lost food during the power outage because of refrigerator spoilage.Is that correct? Does Duke have to pay for my spoiled food?"

The answer from Duke Energy is-- no. No part of that is true. In fact, most general homeowners insurance policies don't pay for spoiled food...it would have to be an extra rider on your policy.

This next question from Lisa. In an email she asks, "Who checks on these stores who sell refrigerated food to make sure they're not selling spoiled goods after a power outage? Is there a way to tell if foods were thawed out and refrozen later when you're shopping?"

Since Lisa lives in Guilford county, I got in touch with the county's environmental health folks. They said all their inspectors were out in the field today checking food establishments based on this weekend's power outages and will be for the next couple of days.

he state guidelines require restaurants to discard any potentially hazardous food that is out of cold holding temp 41F for refrigeration. Commercial fridges can maintain that temperature for 4 hrs if not opened. Freezers can hold food for up to 48 hrs if full provided the unit is not opened.

But what about places like local markets or the dollar stores that sell refrigerated or frozen foods? Health inspectors say those businesses should follow any corporate guidelines and -- don't miss this-- consumers should ask about their procedures before purchasing.

As for being able to tell if food was frozen, thawed and refrozen? Our experts say you probably cannot tell and don't take the chance.


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